Britain for the first time has included Pakistan on a list of countries of concern over human rights, saying there had been “very little progress” towards pledged improvements.Pakistan featured on a list of 21 “major countries of concern” like China, Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Zimbabwe in the Foreign Office’s Human Rights Annual Report 2007.
The report released Tuesday says the list “is not a league table of countries we consider the worst offenders” but adds it “focuses on countries where human rights issues cause us the greatest concern, or where we devote a great deal of attention”.
The move to include Pakistan came after a recommendation from the House of Commons’ Foreign Affairs Committee.
During a three-page analysis of Pakistan’s human rights record, the FCO says: “The UK is concerned about human rights issues in Pakistan…recent changes in the political landscape and the period surrounding the state of emergency declared by President Pervez Musharraf on 3 November 2007 have brought a number of human rights issues in Pakistan to the fore.”
It adds that Pakistan has expressed a desire to improve its human rights record but says there has been “very little progress towards the fulfilment” of pledges on issues including torture and civil and political rights.
The study also expresses concern about the human rights situation in Kashmir and restates a call for an end to all external support for violence there.
It says the media should be able to report on events there without restriction and dubbed a bill last year which made apostasy a capital offence “an unwelcome development”.
Pakistan on FCO’s human rights watch list for the first timePublished March 26, 2008 Britain , Foreign & Commonwealth Office , Foreign Policy , Human Rights , Pakistan , Politics 2 Comments