Protection of Pakistan act has created a large hue and cry in the parliament. The trepidation is, the law can be exploited to undermine human rights. What needs to be understood is that these are extraordinary circumstances and we as a nation are practically in a state of war.
One may ask, have not the most civilized nations enacted even more stringent laws in the name of national security and to tackle insurgency. Before creating tantrum one must go and study the homeland security laws of the United States, the so-called champion of human rights. Have not all those states which faced an insurgency e.g. Turkey, Britain, Sri Lanka, Philippines, and India, enacted similar laws? What people need to understand is that the very nature of the subject of terrorism demands a really rigid law.
Strangely, some of these parliamentarians and so-called experts raising such clamor over ‘Protection of Pakistan Act’ previously have been criticizing the state for not enacting an anti terrorism law. And now that the state is trying to come up with something like that, which it should have come up a long time ago, these experts are having a hard time swallowing the same law. What they failed to understand is that anti terrorism law by its definition will appear to be somewhat of a harsh nature.
One thing must be kept in mind that this law is absolutely imperative to counter the threat of terrorism. So the aim should be to facilitate the efforts and not to subvert them. There is no denying the fact that basic human rights are of paramount importance and our country has a history of abusing legal power, hence the justifying apprehensions of many circles. Ergo, the need is to create a delicate balance where the fundamental rights of citizens must be protected without diluting the force of anti terrorism law. Distinction of sects and governments has destroyed nations. Is there any concern for the homeland in my compatriot’s hearts?
SYED USMAN SHAH,
Lahore, April 12.