PAKISTAN: CHRE welcomes the ban on seeking votes on religious grounds

Centre for Human Rights Education and its member organisations all over Pakistan welcomed the ban by the Election Commission of Pakistan on seeking votes on religious grounds and demanded concrete measures for the implementation of ECP’s directions.

Centre for Human Rights Education (CHRE) is a human rights body, working for democratic development and the promotion of religious tolerance and social harmony in the society.

CHRE’s Director Mr. Samson Salamat in his statement has appreciated the ECP’s decision and demanded that “all the political parties, candidates, their supporters and voters should follow the ban imposed by the Election Commission to maintain peaceful environment during the electoral process and to promote tolerance in the society”.

“Pakistan has gone through a great amount of bloodshed in the name of religion and sectarianism; therefore the nation must hold all the elements accountable which are spreading hatred among the citizens on the basis of religion, sects, ethnicity, cast, gender or any other grounds. The voters must reject these un-democratic forces through their power of vote and should cast their votes on merit as per their will.

The statement further added that the results of the ban imposed by the Election Commission could not be achieved unless an effective monitoring mechanism is installed to keep a check on hate speech and the action is taken against the violators.

Centre for Human Rights Education has also expressed deep concerns over the safety and security of the candidates especially of those belonging to Awami National Party, Pakistan People’s Party and Muttahida Qaumi Movement as they have been threatened to be attacked during the election campaign by the banned outfits and have come under attack in Hyderabad, Swat, Charsadda, Bannu, and Peshawar.

CHRE and its member organisations have reiterated firmly that “continuity of the democratic system is the only way forward for a better Pakistan, and delay in the elections at any behest is unaffordable and unacceptable.

“Peaceful transition through elections is the key for Pakistan to move forward, therefore everything should be done to ensure that the elections are held on time, in a peaceful environment and with transparency. The Election Commission of Pakistan, state institutions responsible for maintaining law and order and other political parties should come forward and take appropriate measures to deal with the situation,” the statement said.

Document Type : Forwarded Press Release
Document ID : AHRC-FPR-022-2013
Countries : Pakistan,
Issues : Democracy, Right to education,