I am seriously concerned about the anti-human rights law, called the ‘Pakistan Protection Ordinance’ (PPO). How on earth can a democratically elected parliament pass this controversial bill? My grave concern is not the law, but how it can be manipulated against the people. In my opinion, this bill will not get any convictions, but will only serve to settle personal scores. This law will hand security forces the power to infringe on the fundamental rights of the citizens. Intelligence agencies in Pakistan are already functioning without any law and bringing them under the law is the need of the hour.

More unannounced detentions or abductions will only lead to more ‘missing persons’. The civil society must oppose this horrific law which is in total contradiction to basic human rights. We may be in a state of war and extraordinary situations call for extraordinary measures, but this PPO is no solution. It must be dismissed immediately and a law relating to security, which does not affect human rights, needs to be formulated. Those in authority, especially heading the intelligence agencies, should ensure that their subordinates do not misuse the power granted to them.


Karachi, April 8.