Pakistan: The Upcoming Government Needs to Uphold Rights

(New York) – Pakistan’s newly elected prime minister, Shehbaz Sharif, should make human rights a key focus of his government, Human Rights Watch said in a letter today to the prime minister. The new Pakistani government should adopt an agenda that actively promotes and protects human rights, advances the rule of law, and strengthens democratic institutions.

“Pakistani Prime Minister Sharif’s new government faces many challenges that need to be addressed by upholding human rights,” said Patricia Gossman, associate Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The government should begin by reversing abusive laws and policies and demonstrating a genuine commitment to the rule of law and equal justice.”

As Pakistan faces one of the worst economic crises in its history, the government has an obligation to ensure adequate social security to uphold the rights of Pakistanis to health, food, social security, and an adequate standard of living.

Human Rights Watch urged the Pakistani government to take concrete steps to protect fundamental civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights in nine key areas. These are economic justice; electoral reforms; digital rights; freedom of expression and protecting civil society; freedom of religion and belief; prison reform; ending violence against women and girls; improving access to education; and protecting rights in counterterrorism operations.

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