August 31, 2016 2:57:07 pm
Expressing concern over alleged human rights violations in Pakistan in view of the crackdown against the MQM which it is “monitoring closely”, the US has said all efforts to maintain law and order in Karachi must be made in accordance with the rule of law.
“Even as Pakistanis engaged in difficult and important security operations on its territory, the United States remains concerned about allegations of violations of human rights in Pakistan,” a State Department official told PTI while responding to questions on allegations of gross human rights violations by Pakistan against Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) members and leaders in Karachi over the past few weeks.
“We have and will continue to engage the Government of Pakistan on human rights issues and support efforts to strengthen rule of law and democratic, accountable processes in the country,” the official said on August 30.
The US, the official said, believes in the importance of public assembly and freedom of speech as cornerstones of democratic societies.
“We would note that in exercising that freedom of expression, everyone – from governments and political parties to protesters – is responsible for upholding the rule of law,” the official said.
The US is “monitoring these events closely”, the official said when asked if the US supports the actions being taken by Pak forces against the MQM, including bulldozing its offices, ban on speeches and posters of its leader Altaf Hussain.
“All efforts to maintain law and order in Karachi must be made in accordance with the rule of law,” the official said.
The MQM, Karachi’s single largest party, emerged as a largely ethnic party in the 1980s and has political dominance in the southern Sindh province’s urban areas – notably in Karachi, Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas and Sukkur where a large number of Urdu-speaking people reside.
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