ET: Amnesty International on Wednesday urged the incoming Pakistan government not to surrender respect for human rights in any potential peace talks with the Taliban or any other armed group.
The organisation in a statement released on Wednesday further urged the new government to make human rights a top priority during its term, starting with investigating election-related killings and other abuses that occurred over the last three months.
“Pakistan has just passed a historic political milestone by seeing through this democratic transition. The new administration must now seize the opportunity to tackle the many human rights challenges facing the country,” said Polly Truscott, Amnesty International’s Deputy Asia-Pacific Director.
The transition to the new government, led by incoming Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), marks the Pakistan’s first ever democratic transition.
The election campaigning was marred by the political violence across Pakistan. More than 150 people were killed in the apparent politically motivated killings, including up to 64 people killed on Election Day alone. The Tehreek-eTaliban Pakistan (TTP) had claimed the responsibility for the majority of the attacks.
The Amnesty International has also asked the authorities to take notice of the abduction and killing of Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) workers in Karachi during recent weeks.
“The killings and other violence seen over the weeks leading up to the polls, and the failure of the authorities to carry out effective investigations into such apparently politically motivated killings, are a sad reminder of the impunity enjoyed by Pakistan’s human rights abusers,” Truscott said.