Islamabad: October 20, 2016

The threat to close down Islamabad on 2nd November, 2016 by a political party has concerns for the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR). A statutory body which promotes and protects Human Rights. The closing down of Islamabad is a matter which relates to life and liberty, a fundamental right guaranteed by Article 9 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 and further adopted by NCHR Act, 2012 while defining the term human rights.

Holding a really with the purpose of closing down city and disrupting movement, business, and day today working of the citizens infringes on public fundamental rights.

There is also a talk of expected skirmishes which may even lead to killing of people. The citizens are fearful that their children will not be able go to school, patients to the hospitals, civil servants to their offices, consumers to the markets and shopkeepers/entrepreneurs to their places of business. Rallying on the roads obstructs the traffic and movements. The shutdown will set a wrong and negative precedent in a country governed by a Constitution.

In all civilized countries secure areas are defined for exercising the rights to protest. This area should be defined and those protesting may consider avoiding shutdown and the possible and expected bloodshed.

As the chairman of NCHR I thought it is a duty to appeal to all concerned to avoid shutting down of Islamabad and to pursue the constitutional remedies.

Source: Info Pak