LAHORE - Like other parts of the world, Human Rights Day was observed on Thursday across the country. Seminars, workshops and walks were organised both at the government and private level in major cities to mark the adoption of the Universal Declaration. On December 10, 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which has become a universal standard for defending and promoting human rights. The Human Rights Day 2009 focused on non- discrimination. For the majority of people in Pakistan, human rights remain a promise and a dream; they are not protected to the extent that they are thought worth celebrating. On the day, Asian Human Rights Commission calls for the governments immediate respect and fulfillment of its obligations under international human rights law, in the protection of all its citizens. According to AHRC, the most pressing concern in relation to this protection is the issue of torture. No serious effort has been made towards the elimination of torture in prisons, police stations and military interrogations, and it has become endemic in this society. Pakistan has signed CAT but never discussed these issues in a legal forum, including that of Parliament. The AHRC has pointed out that there are at least 52 torture cells run under the Pakistan Army in different cities. This statistic was collected from torture victims after their release. The AHRC calls for the establishment of a credible, independent body to investigate claims of torture. All enquiries that are conducted should be transparent to members of civil society, and members of the press should be freely allowed to report on the proceedings of various cases. The AHRC urges that adequate measures are taken to ensure the protection and safety of victims or witnesses who give evidence, and it calls for investigation into claims of threats by governmental agents against witnesses or victims. Steps must be taken immediately to ensure appropriate legal sanctioning of the government agents responsible. The government must also turn its attention to the pressing and distressing situation on the rights of women. It calls for an overhaul of the political, social and economic systems which are deeply misogynistic and encourage the government to re-create these institutions from the ground up, making for an environment that allows for women to be seen as equal to men, with the same rights and responsibilities. The AHRC urges the government to realize that the situation of human rights violations cannot be improved until and unless the state intelligence agencies are put under civilian control, that in true meaning, are running their parallel government. The government should also disband all the torture cells run by the military and its intelligence agencies in the cantonment areas in the different parts of the country. IPF observes Human Rights Day The Initiative for Peace and Freedom (IPF) observed the Human Rights Day here Thursday urging the people to work for peace, tolerance and rising up against the present waver of terrorism which has claimed a number of innocent lives. The IPF executive committee observing the day also appealed to the people to say No to Terrorism, and Yes to Peace. The human rights day gives a lesson to make the world human friendly and promote tolerance. The human rights of all be respected by all countries within and across the boundaries, expect those do not refrain from terrorism. The organisation has also urged the people to not listen to any propaganda by extremists justifying human killings, especially by suicide bomber. The organisation strongly condemned the recent wave of suicide bombing across the country, especially the killing of innocent civilians including women and children, like in Moon Market taking dozens of lives. The IPF fully agreed that the attackers were using the name of Islam to kill but actually they were acting contrary to the teachings of Islam. No religion teaches intolerance and killing. Those who act against humanity in the name of faith are actually misusing and abusing the religion. The organisation felt that peace was the only message of every religion and the world should work to promote peace.