Legal Review of Pakistan’s International Human Rights Obligations & Their Domestic Implementation

Bassam Ahmed Siddiqi

International human rights law establishes obligations that states must uphold. States assume obligations and duties under jurisprudence to respect, protect, and fulfil human rights by becoming parties to international treaties. The obligation to respect implies that states should refrain from interfering with or restricting the human rights and fundamental freedoms. The requirement to cover requires states to protect individuals and groups from human rights violations. The requirement to comply implies that states should take proactive steps to facilitate the enjoyment of fundamental human rights.

In early 2017, Pakistan’s Service of Human Rights embarked on a mission to report on the country’s legal compliance with its universal human rights obligations. The Service aimed to conduct a thorough audit of Pakistan’s residential legal system, among other things, to assess the country’s level of compliance with its universal human rights commitments. Detailed legal analysis of Pakistan’s ratifications of the seven key international human rights instruments (ICCPR, ICESCR, UNCAT, CEDAW, CERD, CRC, CRPD) and the UDHR. There are approximately 197 articles in these international instruments that confer rights.41 Common Comments of UN Arrangement Bodies have been reviewed and cited in relation to the 27 recognized human rights. All State Party reports submitted by Pakistan, as well as Shadow Reports submitted by non-governmental organizations related to Pakistan, have been reviewed and analyzed. The Protected Commitments outlined in Chapters 1 (Principal Rights) and 2 (Standards of Arrangement) of Part I of Pakistan’s Structure have been identified and analyzed. More than 900 judgments of Pakistan’s Supreme Court have been reviewed in relation to basic rights/constitutional commitments, with 331 chosen as seminal in the security of essential intellectual rights. A section-by-section legal survey of over 400 residential laws was conducted, and crevices and lacunae were identified. These laws also include subordinate legislation within the framework of Rules and Controls. The organization and operations of more than 70 statutory and other bodies have been scrutinized. Criminal Forms, i.e., the arrangements of the Criminal Method Code, 1898, and the Pakistan Corrective Code, 1860, have been mapped out to recognize areas where universal commitments are being monitored, as well as forms that weaken universal human rights commitments and protected guarantees. Despite the numerous challenges that the country faces, there are a few critical indicators that suggest a positive direction for the state’s efforts in ensuring and advancing human rights. On the administrative front, the last decade has seen the passage of a few laws that have vastly improved the rights of specific groups, including minorities, women, and children. The Adolescent Equity Framework Act 2018, the Transgender People Act 2018, the Anticipation of Trafficking in People Act 2018, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Disposal of the Custom of Ghag Act 2013, the Sindh Hindu Marriage Act 2016, and the Sindh Child Relational Unions Restriction Act 2013 are a few examples of such laws. Such laws demonstrate Pakistan’s administrative responsiveness to basic human rights issues.

Civil Rights

Following an evaluation of nearly 300 laws, a total of 178 Government and Common laws were relied on in order to assess the assurance of respectful rights locally. Furthermore, a total of 156 seminal judgments have been included to provide for the total scope of these rights. Finally, it was discovered that 35 residential bodies have been ordered by Acts and Approaches to fulfil these rights for Pakistani citizens. A total of 105 proposals have been made, including new legislation, amendments to existing legislation, authoritative measures, changes to the scope and work of government bodies, enhancements to Standard Working Strategies, Capacity Building Workouts, and outreach programmes. The right to equality and non-discrimination has a broad range of implications. For a long time, Pakistan has faced widespread criticism regarding the rights guaranteed to marginalized social groups such as women, minorities, people with disabilities, and the transgender community.

Political Rights

In order to fully understand how household enactment in Pakistan influenced their security, 50 laws were analyzed when distinguishing and assessing the scope of these political rights. A total of 115 laws were scanned through prior to the examination of these residential Government and Common enactment. In that, a total of 70 judgments were combed through, with 40 seminal judgments being relied on within the Report itself. Finally, four operational residential Bodies were commanded for the fulfilment of political rights in Pakistan.

Economic Rights

The rights congregated in this topical gathering were drawn from six Worldwide Human Rights treaties that Pakistan has approved. Through five instantly recognizable Articles, the Pakistani Constitution of 1973 has provided a sacred balance to political rights. When recognizing and assessing the scope of these financial rights, 51 laws were dissected in order to fully comprehend how Pakistani legislation influenced their protection. A total of 115 laws were sifted through prior to the examination of these domestic government and common enactment. A total of 70 judgments were combed through in this process, with 47 seminal judgments being relied on within the Report itself. Finally, 15 operational household bodies were ordered for the fulfilment of political rights in Pakistan.

Legal Review of Pakistan's International Human Rights Obligations & Their Domestic Implementation

Social Rights

The rights have been ensured through arrangements in all eight Universal Human Rights treaties that Pakistan has approved and consented to. These rights have been recognized within the Pakistani Constitution of 1973 through 9 protected Articles. Locally, these rights have been guaranteed by a total of 58 Government and Common enactment. In addition, 48 seminal judgments have been examined in order to expand the scope of the protection of these rights. 29 residential Bodies have been tasked with ensuring and fulfilling these rights for Pakistani citizens.

Cultural Rights

The topical gathering of social rights was created on the basis of the universal agreements of the eight worldwide disobedient as approved and acquiesced to by Pakistan. The Pakistani Constitution of 1973 established a regulated balance for these three social rights through 11 distinctive Articles. Locally, the rights have been secured through the enactment of 36 residential Government and Common enactment sections. The ambit and scope of the rights granted locally have been dissected by relying on 28 seminal judgments of the Prevalent Courts. Finally, a total of 24 residential Bodies have been ordered to ensure the security and fulfilment of these rights for Pakistani citizens.


Pakistan was placed on the US Department of State’s boycott list in 2018 due to “severe infringement of devout freedom.” Regardless of the political factors that influenced this decision, Pakistan has faced numerous challenges in ensuring and maintaining the rights of minorities in its regions. The most serious threat to Pakistan’s ability to fully secure its minorities (particularly devout minorities) stems from the abuse of the disrespect law, devout bigotry, partisan savagery, and parochial preference. Frequently, the problem stems from fugitive action taken against the person accused of obscenity. The dissents that took place after the Incomparable Court acquitted Asia Bibi of all sacrilege charges due to both inadequately proved and fabricated witness declarations are a shocking example of this. Dissidents took to the streets, issuing rebellious threats against the law, the government, and the armed forces, and causing millions of rupees in damage to public property. Governments attempt to put in place household measures and enactment that are consistent with their arrangement commitments and obligations by approving universal human rights settlements. As a result, the domestic legal framework provides critical legal assurance of human rights guaranteed by international law. Where domestic legal procedures fail to address human rights violations, components and methods for individual and group complaints are available at the territorial and global levels to help ensure that universal human rights principles are regarded, actualized, and upheld at the local level.




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