HRCP forms committees to monitor Zardari’s arrival
* Asma Jehangir condemns persecution of political workers
LAHORE: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has formed four committees to monitor the arrival of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Asif Ali Zardari in Lahore today (Saturday).
HRCP chairperson Asma Jehangir and other members will monitor human rights in the city, especially the treatment meted out by the government to PPP workers.
The teams will monitor the situation around Bilawal House in Cantt, Allama Iqbal International Airport, and all entry and exit points of the city throughout the day.
An HRCP team led by its chairperson Jehangir, visited Bilawal House on Friday after receiving complaints that PPPP workers and parliamentarians were being prevented from taking part in political activities by the police.
A large number of police and secret agencies’ officials were deployed in front of the house and were stopping people from entering the house. However, they allowed the journalists and the HRCP team to enter the Bilawal House.
The HRCP team met parliamentarians Dr Fahmida Mirza and Sherry Rehman and other politicians confined inside the house. The parliamentarians complained about the police’s maltreatment.
The HRCP chairperson asked the police officials whether the politicians inside the house were under detention. When the HRCP team received no response, they helped the detained people leave the premises. The HRCP chairperson condemned the government for detaining politicians especially women inside Bilawal House.
Talking to Daily Times, Jehangir condemned the police’s behaviour and said that this had exposed the government’s hollow claims of having introduced democracy in the country.
She said that there was no difference between the Punjab government or the federal government.
“This is a military government,” she said adding, “The Punjab chief minister is a station house officer acting on the direction of his seniors.”
Mahboob Ahmad Khan advocate, another HRCP official, told Daily Times that freedom of expression, movement and assembly were the democratic and constitutional rights of the citizens and nobody could stop them from enjoying these rights.