LAHORE - Terming Protection of Pakistan Bill, adopted by parliament this week, a blatant attack on fundamental rights of the people, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has condemned the government for deliberately following the model of a police state.

In a statement issued on Friday, the commission said: “The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) is appalled at the failure of parliament to block the passage of the Protection of Pakistan Bill, a draconian legislation to the core. It seems the period of eight months since the first version of this pernicious law was promulgated as an ordinance was spent on a fruitless exercise to turn an innately black measure white.

The HRCP further said: “The Senate did increase a few safeguards against the capricious use of the powers granted to law enforcing agencies, it achieved little more than giving the bitter pill a thicker coating of sugar. The law enforcing personnel still have the power to open fire on anyone they declare to be a suspect and they still have unbridled authority to detain people, not only for 60 days but for longer periods.”

  The commission said: “The loose language of the bill and the power allowed to the government to add new offences to the schedule heighten fears of the enactment’s abuse, especially in areas such as Balochistan where political dissent has long been construed as sedition.

 In its efforts to make a law that directly attacks the people’s civil rights the government has done a disservice to justice and democracy both, a decision that will cause a lot more misery to innocent people than ‘enemy aliens’.”

The HRCP calls upon all fair-minded lovers of democracy and human rights to continue their resistance to the measure till the authorities can see light and realise the need for undoing their folly.