OUR STAFF REPORTER LAHORE - Speakers at a seminar expressed serious concerns over rising torture in custody as well as extra-judicial killings and disappearances which they said are being carried out in violation of the local and internationally ratified laws. Captioned Fight Against Torture in Custody, the seminar was arranged by Initiative for Peace and Freedom, in collaboration with a Hong Kong based, Asian Human Rights Commission at HRCP auditorium. The speakers included lawyers, human rights activists, and journalists, consensually demanded the government to make laws according to the UN Convention Against Torture and implement the laws in letter and spirit to decrease the dangerously increasing trends of violence by state and non-state actors. But immediately after its signing the Pakistani government has shown its reservations on almost all important articles of the CAT, which provides protection against torture by state. These reservations are coming from Pakistanis at a moment when the head of the state President Asif Ali Zardari himself has said that he has been tortured in the state custody as political prisoner. Munawwar Ali Shahid, provincial partner of AHRC, talked about the articles of CAT and its main features. Nadeem Anthony, secretary IPF, demanded a consistent and collective voice against torture. IA Rehman, secretary general HRCP, said the judicial remand of accused persons in Pakistan has become a joke. Accused persons are tortured against the law for the forced confessions. Highlighting the misuse and abuse of laws against torture in Pakistan, he said the state torture further gives a justification to the private torture. Resultantly, the society is becoming more violent, and intolerant. He said the studies and reports show that the incidents of Karo-Kari are increasing in Pakistan and spreading in cities from the villages. He said gun has takeover discourse and dialogue, unfortunately. He observed that torture has become part of our culture to greater extent than before. There is no remedy to extra judicial killings despite the ratification of UN CAT. He said the killing is the last form of torture but in Pakistan, sadly, it has become the worst resort. Only a few are sentenced on violating law and torturing and killing people in custody. Husain Naqi, veteran journalist and activist, said that the reservations of Pakistan against CAT after its ratification are growing serious concern in the international community and UN circles. The Pakistani parliament has also not been taken into confidence on this CAT and its reservations. He said though Pakistan has taken back some reservations but still main points are to be addressed. Senior journalist Wajahat Masood said that the incidents like killing of a boy by paramilitary force Pakistan Rangers in Karachi and brutal firing and killing of five foreigners in Kharotabad Quetta further alarms us about the terrible rise in torture by the state even before taking the people into the custody and formally accusing them of any crime. This shows non seriousness of Pakistan to follow its own ratified CAT. Advocate Mahboob Ahmad Khan highlighting different forms of social and cultural torture, said that torture against women, children and minorities, is also a dangerous trend in Pakistan.