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September 11, 2018

Members’ dismal role mars NCHR performance


September 11, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Instead of curbing the human rights violations, one of the top institutions mandated to ensure human rights itself is engulfed in crisis where its members are either facing charges or are doing dual jobs which has set tongues wagging.

The National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) has even filed a reference before the Supreme Judicial Commission to remove one of its members from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as he had been drawing two salaries and facing inquiries over illegal appointment in the Commission.

A member from Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) is accused of working for other private organisation and making multiple visits abroad without intimation to the Commission and questions have also been raised on his performance while being member of the Commission.

A member from minorities practices law in Lahore while having little contribution to the Commission’s performance, sources said. While the member from Balochistan seldom visits provincial office and mostly sits in Islamabad.

Documents available with The News reveal that the NCHR has submitted a reference against Dr Yahya Ahmad, Member NCHR KP pleading that the gentleman was working as Associate Professor in Government Degree College (Amalkhel) Tank, KP while being member of the Commission and was drawing salaries simultaneously. A member of NCHR draws salaries equivalent to MP-II scale, the reference says.

The documents state that the member KP was not recommended by the parliamentary committee which recruited the members of the Commission but later somehow, a miracle happened and Dr Yahya was appointed as member NCHR KP in 2015. His salary was stopped by the Commission for drawing two salaries from government simultaneously.

Sources in the Commission told this correspondent that the performance of members of NCHR has been dismal and that is the reason the Commission could not make its mark in halting the human rights violations in the country. The sources added that the only performance has been shown by the headquarters where the chairman NCHR sits whereas, its members from all provinces and ICT are only enjoying perks and privileges. “The functioning of NCHR is just like National Accountability Bureau (NAB) where it investigates the human rights violations and issues reports. Only headquarter has been functioning its job while the members either withdrew double salaries or enjoyed foreign trips”, the sources said.

The sources mentioned that the world judges the countries by the status of human rights being ensured in them but in Pakistan, instead of curbing the human rights violation to show a positive image of the country to the world, a top institution is facing problems with its members who should be of impeccable integrity but NCHR is being used as a resting slot by its members.

NCHR is headed by Justice (R) Ali Nawaz Chohan, who has remained former judge of Lahore High Court, Alternate Chairman Unseco Appeal (Judicial) Board, Paris; Elected International Judge of the United Nations (by the General Assembly 2006-2009 with Diplomatic Status of Under Secretary General of the UN; he has also remained Chief Justice of the Republic of Gambia; he has also served as Consultant to the President of Pakistan on Administrative Law and International law. Justice Chohan’s CV runs into dozens of pages with over a decade of UN’s judicial and diplomatic assignments.

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