There are cries and there are cries. When cries turn to wailing but remain ignored you become acutely aware that utter neglect dominates. The Human Rights record in Pakistan is atrocious. Yet inexplicable deafness persists. Government after government has repeatedly refused to repeal laws that allow for violations even when legislative numbers have permitted. Worse, they have callously ignored responsibility for enacting laws that would put an end to medieval customs. Even when laws exist, nothing is done. It's the enforcement, stupid The country is overrun by feudalism, and is likely to be the way things stand even in the distant future. There are no means to enforce or implement laws of essence to the very core of civilised society. Primarily due to the painful fact that the enforcement agencies are the handmaidens of the local feudal in areas where inhuman acts violate the very sanctity of the population without let or hindrance. The fear of governments in enforcing the law goes beyond the governance issue. The political importance of the feudal to civil and military governments nullifies the significance of the greater population. They are used for selfish motives, are happy to oblige, but in turn seek condonation of the acts of terror perpetrated upon their people. Government leaders are either from among them or are eager to oblige in order to fulfil people's negative objectives. We have even heard the highest leadership of the country, that too in a foreign country that concerns itself as the greatest promoter of human rights, proclaim that women in Pakistan cry rape in order to obtain the citizenship of that country. This, in context to a Pakistani woman who is an international icon for her valiant stand against the feudal society. Having fought not just for her personal honour but for the honour of women similarly traumatised. Military governments have dominated the political scene and yet it is surprising that an outfit as disciplined in terms of governance, certainly within its own domain, did nothing to strike down the 'black laws' perpetrated by feudal customs and religious bigots. Perhaps the fact that some of these had been enacted by an erstwhile soldier may have been behind it. Not very wise. Enforcement during military governments can, or at least could, be carried out effectively to quite an extent. And it is well known that military governments can and have taken the radical route. So why not in HR violations? The failure of enforcement, particularly by civil authorities, even in the face of superior court rulings has made life impossible for those subjected to violations of their rights. There was of course the fleeting moment when one could believe that the judiciary had finally recognised that the rule of law could be dominant. You don't need me to remind you when that was. But that was quickly nipped in the bud by the military dictator. There were noises then, by government functionaries as expected, that the judiciary was interfering in governance and trespassing outside its jurisdiction. At the same time it was also discussed that failure of governance and contemptuous disregard of peoples' rights had forced the superior judiciary's hand. To me it was that the laws under which orders were being passed had always existed, but that judiciary had been acting under state pressure or power in neglecting to take lawfully correct decisions that may have impeded government's dubious actions. The "judicial activism" that overwhelmed the regime of former President Musharraf, was perhaps the only recent hope of curtailing the debilitating powers of the 'black laws' and at the same time fuelled the aspirations that culprits would not only be brought to the book but actually be sentenced for the crimes perpetrated. That situation has unfortunately passed; one hopes only momentarily. The tragic murder of five women in Balochistan is yet another disastrous blot on this nation's mirror. The fact that it has been concealed since the last week of July is shameful. Once can console oneself with the fact that some perpetrators have been unearthed for the moment. Their trial needs to be closely monitored to ensure justice is done. Government courts where these cases will be tried are not known for dispensing justice. They succumb to pressure. Unfortunately, mystery surrounds the killings. The press revealed that the five had been buried alive. The law enforcement agencies, under mounting pressure from the press, have allegedly discovered two of the five bodies and quickly obtained a coroner's verdict that the women had been shot and killed before being buried. In time one can hope the other bodies will also be discovered. That is only natural considering that the murderers are in custody. But there is many a slip between cup and lip. Appalling though is the attitude of some Baloch leaders who have claimed honour killings as being an inherent part of Baloch traditions, culture and customs. This could not come at a worse time. The nation feels strongly for the suffering and isolation from the mainstream of the Baloch. The ongoing operation is largely condemned despite the confrontational and anti-Pakistan statements emanating from certain leaders. The murder of Akbar Khan Bugti was not something that was dismissed by Pakistan's population. In this backdrop, the arrogant and callous attitude of some Baloch leaders, especially on the electronic media, lends credence to the concept of an archaic feudal mindset, especially among those of us with limited exposure to Balochistan. The statements of a Senator have opened a serious wound with the NGOs concerned with protection and promotion of human rights and women's development. There is total outrage at these utterances. It is when extreme acts are given cover by attributing "culture and custom" that one is driven to deep anguish. In the 21st century it is unpardonable that such acts take place, that too with aplomb and no fear of retribution. And completely unfathomable that humans capable of such monstrosity still exist. These despicable feudal knights in rusted armour, must be taken to task. Not just the alleged perpetrators but those providing protection to them. The democratic government needs to mobilise support for repeal of all the laws affecting human rights issues. Blasphemy laws have threatened the minority communities for too long. The practice of Karo Kari is abhorring. To my mind there can exist no justification for killing, except perhaps self-defence. Certainly no killing of defenceless humans. If the current impasse continues, or worsens, the hopes that these laws will go will be dashed. Constitutional change is being made heavy weather of even when it is relative easy. I can only imagine how many promises will have to be made and broken if human rights are to be restored as envisioned in the Holy Quran and the laws. We believe in democracy. Let us live up to that belief. The promulgation of good laws and enforcement through good governance are an essential part of government. Civil authority, not military. To do this requires the courage of conviction and a desire to do right. Not to usurp the rights of the nation to serve yourself. A strong nation does not permit this. "No provision in our constitution ought to be dearer to man than that which protects the rights of conscience against the enterprises of the civil authority" Thomas Jefferson: 3rd  US President (1801-09) The writer is a Karachi-based political analyst E-mail: