PAKISTAN: The National Juvenile Justice Network calls for law reform

Summary: National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN) has appealed to President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari to ask the National Assembly and Senate to amend the constitution and allow people of Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA) to either have their own province or get merged with Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa.

[21 July 2011] - The speakers said this while launching a postcard campaign against FCR here on Wednesday. They said that about 5000 cards would be sent President of Pakistan which would be signed by researchers, teachers, students, lawyers and activists.

They said that the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) should be repealed and the constitution of Pakistan should be fully implemented through systems and mechanism so that grave human rights violations could be ended.

Noor Alam Advocate, Nasreen of Aurat Foundation, Shams Mohmand, Hizar and Qurat-ul-Ain said that it was injustice in the regime of human rights that people of FATA mainly children and women were depriving of fundamental human rights through FCR.

They added that in the given failed political and administrative system the FCR had made space for hardened criminals and militants live in the region and train the children and young people to become part of their militant activities. The horrors of the FCR on the children who come into conflict with the law are as old as the law itself. The numbers of children that are dragged under this law over the century are unrecovered, however, it can be assessed that it has affected millions of children, they said.

They maintained that by December 2010 there were 11 children detained under the FCR in different prisons mainly under the Collective Responsibility Clause (CRC) of the FCR, adding that during the year 112 children were arrested and imprisoned.

Most of these children and also women are arrested, detained and punished under the CRC of FCR, they said and added that a minor of even 6 year could be given three years imprisonment which they said the Supreme Court and Shariat Court of Pakistan have categorically declared against the spirit of the constitution. They said that through 18th amendment changes were made in the constitution, however the relevant Article 247(2) was not amended under which the FATA comes under the control of President of Pakistan. They added that in this regard three commissions led separately by Farhatullah Babar, Mumtaz Bangsh and Justice Retired Ajmal Mian had prepared recommendations but these were yet to be implemented.

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