Skip to main content

Kashmir and Balochistan: Will Pakistan own up to rights abuses?

We challenge Pakistan's human rights minister on alleged government abuses and the treatment of religious minorities.

06 Dec 2019 09:54 GMT PakistanHuman RightsKashmirBalochistanBusiness & Economy

Pakistan defends its rights record in Kashmir and Balochistan

Are we in the death throes of capitalism?

In this episode of UpFront, we challenge Pakistan's Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari on the country's support for groups that have carried out attacks in Indian-administered Kashmir; enforced disappearances in Balochistan and treatment of religious minorities.

And in our Arena, author Grace Blakeley and financial policy analyst Diego Zuluaga debate the state of capitalism in the world today.

Pakistan defends its rights record in Kashmir and Balochistan

The Pakistani government's support for internationally designated terrorist groups came under scrutiny earlier this year when the Pakistan-based group Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) claimed responsibility for a suicide attack that killed 40 Indian soldiers in Pulwama in Indian-administered Kashmir in February.

Pakistan has long been accused of supporting violent groups like JeM, but the country's Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari says that was in the past.

"Yes, in the past, we have backed some freedom fighters, and we had bad groups supporting those freedom fighters, that was a long time ago," she said.

The Paris-based watchdog, the Financial Action Taskforce (FATF), said Pakistan is still helping to fund groups like JeM, and that it is not doing enough to curb terrorism. Though the watchdog says Pakistan has only addressed five of its recommended 27 "action items", Mazari says Pakistan is complying with FATF demands.

"Our government is not only compliant, we are supporting, we are trying to improve our sort of structures ... we are cooperating with them."

Mazari also defended Pakistan's record in Balochistan. The government is accused of abducting and killing tens of thousands of people there throughout a decades-long rebellion. She conceded there were cases of enforced disappearances, but said the government was dealing with the issue.

"We have now prepared a bill against enforced disappearances. We have a commission which is focusing on checking out enforced disappearances ... anybody can complain, and if there is a problem, it will be dealt with, within the law of the land," Mazari said.

Mazari also defended Pakistan's treatment of religious minorities. Critics say Pakistan's blasphemy laws, which carry the death sentence for anyone who insults Islam, have been used to persecute members of minority faiths.

"Coming now to the non-Muslims citizens, yes, there have been problems. But now the Supreme Court has set a very good precedent that false accusations on blasphemy charges will be punishable and those who do it will be punished," Mazari said.

This week's Headliner, Pakistani Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari.

Are we in the death throes of capitalism?

From Lebanon to Chile, from Iraq to Ecuador, there has been a wave of protests across the world this year; a groundswell of anger, and all of it directed at the ruling class.

Each protest movement is unique: some are demanding more democracy and greater political freedoms, while others are fuelled by anger over corruption. Amongst all these grievances, however, there appears to be a common underlying theme: frustration over the economy and rising inequality.

Grace Blakeley, author of the book, Stolen, How to Save the World from Financialisation, believes that many of the protests, particularly in Latin America, are driven by economic discontent. 

Blakeley argues that we are seeing cracks in the capitalist system. The problem, she says, is that corporations have become "financialised"; they are so focused on profits for shareholders that working people are losing out.

"They (corporations) will do anything to boost their short-term share price, even at the expense of long-term investment and paying their workers," she says.

Diego Zuluaga, a financial policy analyst at the Cato Institute, doesn't believe we are seeing a breakdown in the capitalist system and contends that people are generally better off economically.

"I think we haven't had a period in the history of the world like the last 30 years in which the vast majority of the global population, even in the most deprived places, have suddenly and finally gained access to the most basic essentials and necessities. And that has been driven universally by liberalisation," Zuluaga says.

In this week's UpFront Arena we debate the state of capitalism with Grace Blakeley and Diego Zuluaga.

Follow UpFront on Twitter @AJUpFront and Facebook.

Source: Al Jazeera News


Popular posts from this blog

SSG Commando Muddassir Iqbal of Pakistan Army

“ Commando Muddassir Iqbal was part of the team who conducted Army Public School operation on 16 December 2014. In this video he reveals that he along with other commandos was ordered to kill the innocent children inside school, when asked why should they kill children after killing all the terrorist he was told that it would be a chance to defame Taliban and get nation on the side. He and all other commandos killed children and later Taliban was blamed.
Muddassir Iqbal has deserted the military and now he is  with mujahedeen somewhere in AF PAK border area”
For authenticity of  this tape journalists can easy reach to his home town to interview his family members or   ISPR as he reveals his army service number”
Asalam o Alaikum: My name is Muddassir Iqbal. My father’s name is Naimat Ali. I belong to Sialkot divison (Punjab province), my village is Shamsher Poor and district, tehsil and post office  Narowal. Unfortunately I was working in Pakistan army. I feel embarrassed to tell you …

CPEC Jobs in Pakistan, salary details

JOBS...نوکریاں چائنہ کمپنی میںPlease help the deserving persons...Salary:Salary package in China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in these 300,000 jobs shall be on daily wages. The details of the daily wages are as follows;Welder: Rs. 1,700 dailyHeavy Duty Driver: Rs. 1,700 dailyMason: Rs. 1,500 dailyHelper: Rs. 850 dailyElectrician: Rs. 1,700 dailySurveyor: Rs. 2,500 dailySecurity Guard: Rs. 1,600 dailyBulldozer operator: Rs. 2,200 dailyConcrete mixer machine operator: Rs. 2,000 dailyRoller operator: Rs. 2,000 dailySteel fixer: Rs. 2,200 dailyIron Shuttering fixer: Rs. 1,800 dailyAccount clerk: Rs. 2,200 dailyCarpenter: Rs. 1,700 dailyLight duty driver: Rs. 1,700 dailyLabour: Rs. 900 dailyPara Engine mechanic: Rs. 1,700 dailyPipe fitter: Rs. 1,700 dailyStorekeeper: Rs. 1,700 dailyOffice boy: Rs. 1,200 dailyExcavator operator: Rs. 2,200 dailyShovel operator: Rs. 2,200 dailyComputer operator: Rs. 2,200 dailySecurity Supervisor: Rs. 2,200 dailyCook for Chinese food: Rs. 2,000 dailyCook…

Historical relationship between Kurd and Baloch.

The Kurds are the ethnical group living in a region known as Kurdistan which is divided into Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran. They  are struggling for an independent region since decades and they are famous for their female guerrilla fighters.        On 25 September 2017, the referendum for an independent Kurdish region  was held in Iraq with a turn out of 72 %.   On this important occasion, the historical relation between Kurd and Baloch people is worth discussing.       When it comes to history, every nation tends to find its roots and origin. Same goes with the Baloch people. The Baloch people are always curious  about  finding their roots in history. Even if you  talk to a shepherd in Balochistan, he will be curious to talk about his  tribal or ethnical roots.      The Balochs have always conveyed the history to the next generations in different mediums like poems etc. No Baloch before 20th century had written books on  history  or origin of the Baloch nation .