LAHORE: The World Organization against Torture (OMCT) and the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) have asked the Pakistani government to adopt an anti-torture legislation.

On the UN Day for Victims of Torture, HRCP Chairperson Zohra Yusuf said that “this day should remind us all that torture and other forms of cruel and inhuman or degrading treatment are still a sad reality in our country”.

OMCT and HRCP welcomed in a letter submitted to NA on Thursday on the draft Torture, Custodial Death and Custodial Rape Bill that has been pending before the National Assembly. The draft bill provides for important protections for torture victims, both organizations have set out key amendments to render the law effective.

If the investigating body has to seek instruction and direction from the Federal Government upon receiving a complaint directed against the military or intelligence agency, remedies will systematically fail.

OMCT SG Gerald Staberock said that “Our global experience in Asia and beyond has shown over and over that these type of provision produce a legacy of abuse. Military and intelligence agencies have been in many parts of the world notorious for human rights violations. We have to understand that protecting torturers or rapists from accountability is neither good for the morale of the troops nor does it serve security”.

The HRCP conducted a series of events, including rallies in several districts as well as public awareness events, to remind the government for its promises and international obligations.