Rights Situation Deteriorates in Pak’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

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The report underscored the alarming number of children not attending school in the province, with findings indicating that over 4.7 million children, comprising at least 66% girls, were out of school….reports Hamza Ameer

Peshawar, June 12 (IANS) A security report prepared by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province paints a suffering tale of public unrest, killings, terrorism, climate crisis, and health severity during the year 2023, calling on the government to take immediate and emergency steps for the protection of human rights and human lives in the region.

The report, released by HRCP KP chapter Vice Chairman Akbar Khan, revealed the worsening situation of the province during the past year with a major increase in terror attacks, loss of lives, killings, kidnappings, climate crisis, and challenging health conditions.

“More than 160 cops and over 70 military personnel were targeted in the province last year. Over 60 civilians and more than 170 militants were killed during 2023 in targeted operations,” said Akbar Khan.

“During 2023, at least 40 innocent lives were lost due to floods and storms. Eleven per cent of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province has suffered severely from drug abuse,” he added.

He also highlighted that gross human rights violations were witnessed during 2023, especially after the chaotic and violent protests by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) supporters on May 9 last year when houses were raided and arrests were made.

“The basic rights of the citizens were blatantly violated after the May 9 violence through raids and arrests targeting the supporters of Imran Khan and PTI,” said Akbar Khan.

The report also highlighted the staggering number of out of school children in the province. As per the report, at least 4.7 million children were out of school, including at least 66 per cent girls.

The report revealed that physically challenged persons were still unable to access public places due to lack of wheelchair access, despite the court order to have special ramps at public places designated for physically challenged people.

The report also mentioned the first phase of the forced return of at least 1.7 million illegal Afghan refugees in Pakistan, stating that the authorities and law-enforcement agencies opted to use force to capture and send back illegal undocumented Afghan nationals.

It said that major violations of human rights were practiced by the government during 2023, as authorities carried out raids and search operations in various areas to capture illegal Afghans, thus committing some serious violations of human rights.

“At least 212,000 Afghan nationals were forcibly sent back to their home country in 2023,” the report read.

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