Saturday, July 10, 2010

HRCP alarmed over labour leader’s murder

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed serious concern over the murder of labour leader Mustansar Randhawa and his brother in Faisalabad and called upon the government to track down and try the culprits and to prevent violence against those raising their voice for labour’s rights.

In a statement issued on Friday, HRCP said: “The murder of Mustansar Randhawa, a leader of textile and power loom workers in Faisalabad, and his brother, Naseer, is a stark reminder of the risks labour leaders and human rights defenders face in Pakistan.
The state is under an obligation to protect the lives of all human beings, but individuals that are exposed to specific threats deserve additional protection measures. Mustansar had been receiving death threats reportedly from power looms and textile mill owners for several days, apparently because of his role in orgainzing workers in the area.

The labour movement in Pakistan has long been protesting in a peaceful manner for the rights of workers who find themselves squeezed by the economic downturn, lack of benefits, poor and unsafe working conditions, and wages that bear no relation with the escalating cost of living and inflation. The government is duty-bound to ensure not only that workers get their rights, but also that they are not prevented from raising their voice for such entitlments.

The government must ensure that the killers of Mustansar and his brother do not enjoy impunity. Failure to apprehnd and punish the killers would convey the message that the barrel of the gun is the most effective means to further one’s interests. It is in the interest of the state to do all it can to prevent that message from taking root.”

Friday, July 2, 2010

Lahore rocked, 2 suiciders kill 42,175 hurt at Data Darbar blasts

Lahore—Forty Two  people were killed and 175 others injured as a result of twin suicide attacks inside Data Darbar and the third blast outside the shrine here late Thursday night.

A hand grenade has been found near Wazoo Khana of Shrine while police has cordoned off the area.

The injured, some of them in critical condition, have been shifted to nearby hospitals.

According to bomb disposal squad the two blasts inside the shrine were suicidal while the nature of the third blast is yet to be ascertained.

Data Darbar has five doors out of which four were closed. The only door kept open had a scanner installed with it and it is still unknown how the bombers made their way inside the shrine.

Earlier, the Punjab Government had decided to launch operation against terrorists in various areas of provincial capital and in South Punjab.

The decision to this effect was made in a High-level meeting held on Thursday morning. It was chaired by Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif.

The CM was briefed regarding security situation in the province. The meeting had decided to initiate operation against terrorists in the provincial capital and in South Punjab that would be jointly participated by police and secret agencies. (PO)