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Pakistan: Rights commission established and operational soon

Graphic: Pakistani flag

A full-time Chairperson and six members have been formally nominated to lead Pakistan’s new national human rights institution.

A full-time Chairperson and six members have been formally nominated by a parliamentary committee to lead Pakistan's new national human rights institution, Dawn.com reports.

The National Commission on Human Rights (NCHR) will begin operating as soon as President Mamnoon Hussain gives his approval to the nominations.

Retired Justice Ali Nawaz Chohan has been nominated to head the NCHR, along with one member from each province and one to represent minority communities.

The members are Ms Kishwer Shaheen Awan (Punjab), Ms Anis Haroon (Sindh), Dr Yahya Ahmad (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Ms Fazila Aliani (Balochistan), Mr Shafique Chaudhry (Islamabad capital Territory) and Mr Ishaq Masih (Minorites).

One member from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas is yet to be nominated.

The nominations were made following an interview process coordinated by the four-member parliamentary committee, on recommendations provided by the Prime Minister's Office.

The committee also announced that the Chairperson of the National Commission on the Status of Women – Ms Khawar Mumtaz – will be an ex-officio member of the NCHR.

A bill to establish Pakistan's national human rights institution was passed by the National Assembly and the Senate in 2012.

Under the legislation, the NCHR will have the power to intervene in any proceedings involving alleged violations of human rights, to visit jails nationwide and to appoint special investigation teams of officers from police and other law enforcement agencies.

Every citizen will have the right to register a complaint over cases of human rights violations. While inquiring into complaints, the NCHR will have all the powers of a civil court and be able to summon individuals, as well as public or private departments.

Date: 14 February 2015

Source: Dawn.com

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  1. Pakistani flag - bm1632, Flickr Creative Commons