Top Stories

Talks on with outlawed TLP to end impasse, says govt

April 19th, 2021; By Ahmed Saeed & Rehan Piracha; LAHORE; Today the situation remains tense at the Chowk Yateem Khan in Lahore, with violent clashes between police and TLP supporters on Sunday. Sheikh Rashid Ahmed says talks were underway to resolve the week-long impasse

UNDP highlights glaring economic inequality in the country

April 20th, 2021; Staff Report; LAHORE; According to the 'National Human Rights Development' report released by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), at least six percent of Pakistan’s gross domestic product (GDP) is handed over to the elite class in the form of direct or indirect privileges.

Jirga deal pushes family to forgive culprits for parading girl naked

April 19th, 2021; By Rehan Piracha; LAHORE; The suspects in high-profile case of Sharifan Bibi, a girl paraded naked in Dera Ismail Khan four years ago, have reached a settlement with her family brokered by a local Jirga.

Resolution tabled in NA to call for debate on French Ambassador’s expulsion

A resolution was tabled in the National Assembly Tuesday to call for a debate on the expulsion of the French ambassador, fulfilling a key demand of the government’s deal with the proscribed Tehrik Labaik Pakistan.

Activist Leena Ghani records statements in partial cross examination

Leena Ghani expressed her contentment with her partial cross examination in the Ali Zafar defamation suit. "I came out happy because I was able to say exactly what I wanted to say. I was able to get my narrative across," she told Voicepk.net in an exclusive conversation.

Rights Watch

Rights Watch | 20th April 2021

The body of a beautician, who went missing in October of 2020, was recovered from a farmhouse owned by Major (retired) Mehboob Akhtar Mian in Memon Goth. A suspect arrested in the case alleged the motive was to usurp the victim's husband's retirement funds, however police will determine the truth after the arrest of the retired major.

Rights Watch | 19th April 2021

A resident of Thul in Jacobabad on Friday night, April 16, shot dead his wife and sister-in-law for so-called 'honour' for allegedly having illicit relations. Police have detained the accused and confiscated his weapon. For more news on human rights abuses, keep reading.

Rights Watch | 17th April 2021

One Muhammad Nawaz, a resident of 77/5-L village in Sahiwal strangled dead his sister Sameer Thursday night after she refused to return to her husband following a domestic quarrel. For more human rights stories, keep reading.

Our Stories

Journalism for Human Rights in Pakistan. Most popular stories you must read today!

Activist Leena Ghani records statements in partial cross examination

Leena Ghani expressed her contentment with her partial cross examination in the Ali Zafar defamation suit. "I came out happy because I was able to say exactly what I wanted to say. I was able to get my narrative across," she told Voicepk.net in an exclusive conversation.

Talks on with outlawed TLP to end impasse, says govt

April 19th, 2021; By Ahmed Saeed & Rehan Piracha; LAHORE; Today the situation remains tense at the Chowk Yateem Khan in Lahore, with violent clashes between police and TLP supporters on Sunday. Sheikh Rashid Ahmed says talks were underway to resolve the week-long impasse

UNDP highlights glaring economic inequality in the country

April 20th, 2021; Staff Report; LAHORE; According to the 'National Human Rights Development' report released by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), at least six percent of Pakistan’s gross domestic product (GDP) is handed over to the elite class in the form of direct or indirect privileges.

Jirga deal pushes family to forgive culprits for parading girl naked

April 19th, 2021; By Rehan Piracha; LAHORE; The suspects in high-profile case of Sharifan Bibi, a girl paraded naked in Dera Ismail Khan four years ago, have reached a settlement with her family brokered by a local Jirga.

Justice, not vengeance: State violence against the TLP

April 18th, 2021; By Asra Haque; LAHORE; Viral videos of the Punjab Police savagely thrashing who appear to the recently proscribed Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) workers has social media reeling in horror at the excess brutality being meted out to citizens.

India’s new laws are discriminating against Kashmiris: UN experts

April 17th, 2021; By Rehan Piracha; LAHORE; India’s illegal annexation of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and imposition of new laws in the disputed territory discriminate against Muslim and other minorities in employment and land ownership, UN human rights expert stated in a letter to New Delhi in February.

By banning TLP the government may be setting a dangerous precedent

April 17th,2021; By Ahmed Saeed & Hamid Riaz; LAHORE; By proscribing the TLP, the govt may be setting a dangerous precedent whereby any political party may face similar bans

Ordinances meant to be passed as act of parliament instead get extension

April 17th, 2021; By Ahmad Saeed; LAHORE; The National assembly has extended the two anti-rape ordinances for a further period of 120 days. The opposition has criticised the govt for not tabling such important matters as a bill before parliament.

As Govt proscribes TLP, France asks firms to quit Pakistan

April 15th, 2021; By Rehan Piracha; LAHORE; The French embassy in Pakistan on Thursday advised all French nationals and companies to temporarily leave the country as Islamabad banned the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) following bloody protests across the country.

REGEN-COV effective in reducing mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms

April 16th, 2021; By Asra Haque; LAHORE; One REGEN-COV clinical trial showed that the antibody cocktail provided 72% protection against symptomatic COVID19 infection in the first week and 93% by the second week

پنجاب فوڈ اتھارٹی کا ریسٹورنٹ کو سیل کرنے کا اختیار غیر قانونی قرار: سپریم کورٹ

تحریر: احمد سعید; لاہور; سپریم کورٹ نے پنجاب فوڈ اتھارٹی کے فوڈ سیکورٹی آفیسرز کے کسی بھی دکان یا ریسٹورنٹ کو سیل کرنےکے عمل کو غیر آئینی قرار دیتے ہوئے اتھارٹی کے یسٹورنٹس یا دکانوں کو سیل کرنے کے اختیار کو کالعدم قرار دے دیا.

I lost three sons, says father of Shangla slain miners

April 15th, 2021; By Umar Bacha; SHANGLA; Voicepk.net narrates the tragedy of Wazeer Rehman, whose three sons were among the 16 Shangla missing coalminers.

COVID-19 WATCH

COVID Watch | 31st March 2021

28 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses manufactured by India under the WHO's COVAX programme have yet to leave the country due to India’s new export restrictions owing to a surge in national cases. For more stories on the pandemic situation, keep reading.

COVID Watch | 30th March 2021

The NCOC revealed on Monday that 26 cities of Punjab, Peshawar and Azad Kashmir reported a case positivity rate of over 8%. Meanwhile 100 patients reportedly succumbed to the novel coronavirus disease. An overall positivity rate of 8.83% was recorded with 4,084 fresh infections. For more, keep reading.

In Focus

Journalism for Human Rights in Pakistan. Most popular stories you must read today!

ATC grants police custody of social activist Muhammad Ismail for 3 days

February 3rd, 2021; By Hamid Riaz; LAHORE; An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Peshawar granted to police, three-day physical custody of arrested social activist Professor Muhammad Ismail, a focal person of the Pakistan NGOs Forum. Yesterday the ATC had rejected Prof. Ismail’s pre-arrest bail plea in a “terror financing case” registered against him by the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) following which he was handcuffed and taken into custody by the CTD from the court’s premise.  

Carrying on the legacy of the courageous Asma Jahangir

January 27th, 2021; By Ahmed Saeed; LAHORE; The Asma Jahangir Legal Aid Cell continues the legacy of upholding principles of human rights and the rule of law of its late founder Asma Jahangir as the nation marked the sixty-ninth birth anniversary of the human rights icon.

Allegedly abducted by the police over 2 months ago, the whereabouts of a Sanghar villager remains unknown

January 24th, 2021; By Hamid Riaz; LAHORE; Sanghar resident Abdul Sattar Awan has been missing for over 2 months. In a petition filed before the Sindh High Court his brother claims that Sattar was abducted by the police. Police has failed to produce Sattar despite High Court's orders.

Women lawmakers agree on increasing marriage age for girls in Punjab

January 14th, 2021; By Ahmed Saeed; LAHORE; Lawmakers from both sides of the Punjab Assembly have joined hands to end the menace of child marriages by increasing the age of marriage to 18 years for girls in Punjab and make CNICs a mandatory document to solemnize the marriage.

A “Judicial Crusade” against ‘ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCES’

January 13th, 2021; Staff Reporter; LAHORE; Summons, fines & threat of arrests in 2021 has seen a series of actions taken by the higher courts against the govt's inability to recover victims of enforced disappearance.

IHC hears petition seeking ban on Netflix

January 6th, 2021; By Hamid Riaz; LAHORE; In a petition filed before the IHC petitioner, Tariq Asad asserts that if Netflix fails to remove the 'sacrilegious' movie the website should be banned in the country altogether- much like the Youtube Ban of 2012.

Life in the Time of COVID

The year has ended but COVID is still around. Will dealing with an uncertain future be the new normal in 2021? Voicepk.net brings to you the stories of five working women from across Pakistan, who have lost their livelihood due to the global pandemic, but not their strength.

HRCP report on Karachi floods reveals number of reasons

December 24th, 2020; Bureau Report; LAHORE; On Wednesday the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) released an in-depth fact-finding report on the devastating urban floods that occurred in Karachi this year.

A silenced Meesha Battles Cases Amid Vilification Drive

December 23rd, 2020; By Rehan Piracha; LAHORE; Apart from the legal challenges, Meesha Shafi faced a targeted vilification campaign on social media, primarily to discredit her harassment claims, say women rights activists.

Editorials

Is Nawaz’s battle cry for salvation or civilian supremacy

October 17th, 2020; By Munizae Jahangir; LAHORE; In an unprecedented first, Punjab’s most popular leader called out a sitting army head, Qamar Bajwa & ISI Chief General Faiz on meddling in politics, kidnapping journalists, & pressurizing the judiciary

Culture of Silence

Spotlight, the 2015 Academy Award winning motion picture, brought to global attention the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston sex abuse scandal of 2002. The film was based on factual events, showing how a group of reporters ...

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Prisoner of Conscience: Baba Jan visits AGHS

March 24th, 2021; By Hamid Riaz & Hassan Raza; LAHORE; Baba Jan visited the office of the late Asma Jahangir to offer his condolences and thank his allies for standing with him throughout the nine years he had spent incarcerated as a prisoner of conscience.

Farooq Maududi: What Pakistan Day actually means

March 23rd, 2021; By Asra Haque; LAHORE; On Pakistan Day, Farooq Maududi narrates an alternate history of the origins of civil-military relations and the tragedy of Partition

President urges women to avail govt loan schemes

President Dr Arif Alvi has urged women in the country to take advantage of various loan schemes initiated by the federal government for their economic empowerment, regretting that only five percent of the funds available to female entrepreneurs have been availed due to lack of awareness.

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Feature Articles

‘At least a million children on Punjab’s streets’

April 14th, 2021; By Rehan Piracha; LAHORE; There are close to a million street children in cities across Punjab, says Sarah Ahmad, chairperson of the Punjab Child Protection and Welfare Bureau, announcing a renewed push against child beggary during Ramzan.

Shia families wont budge until their missing persons are recovered

“I do not know what state he is in,” a mother states. “I am not asking them to release my son. I jus want to know what crime he has committed. The courts are there to award punishments; at least bring him to court.”

The third wave is unlike anything Pakistan has dealt with before

The tried and true smart lockdown policy might not work for the recent COVID-19 wave in which the UK variant, a far more transmissible mutation of the original virus, is wreaking havoc in Pakistan.

Workers' Right

Family accuses police of partiality in disabled woman’s rape case

April 6th, 2021; By Zeenat Shehzadi; FAISALABAD; A woman with speech and hearing disability has been allegedly gang-raped in Bhowana tehsil while the suspects have obtained pre-arrest bail in the case.

Mine collapses killed 45 Baluchistan miners in last three months

March 21st, 2021; By Asim Ahmed Khan; QUETTA; The contract system is the primary evil plaguing the mining sector of our country. Government bodies that are supposed to protect us do not take any interest in the mines. The Mines Secretariat is a completely defunct body, says Abdul Sattar, the Central Chairman Pakistan Mines Labor Federation.

SHC shocked at exploitation of unskilled workers, says minimum pay policy failing to raise their incomes

March 16th, 2021; By Rehan Piracha; LAHORE; The Sindh High Court has expressed its shock over the massive exploitation of unskilled workers, observing that the minimum wage policy has not helped raise their income

President urges women to avail govt loan schemes

President Dr Arif Alvi has urged women in the country to take advantage of various loan schemes initiated by the federal government for their economic empowerment, regretting that only five percent of the funds available to female entrepreneurs have been availed due to lack of awareness.

Press Releases

WAF denounces hate campaign against Aurat March

March 12th, 2021; By Staff Reporter; LAHORE; WAF registered a strong condemnation of an online hate campaign vilifying Aurat March & Aurat Azadi March as an 'anti-Islam foreign-funded agenda'.

PBC, PHCBA call for removing bar on Qazi Faez Isa

February 16th, 2021; By Staff reporter; LAHORE; The Pakistan Bar Council and the Peshawar High Court Bar Association have urged the Supreme Court to review its order of barring Justice Qazi Faez Isa from hearing cases concerning Prime Minister Imran Khan.

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Legal Issues

Ordinances meant to be passed as act of parliament instead get extension

April 17th, 2021; By Ahmad Saeed; LAHORE; The National assembly has extended the two anti-rape ordinances for a further period of 120 days. The opposition has criticised the govt for not tabling such important matters as a bill before parliament.

پنجاب فوڈ اتھارٹی کا ریسٹورنٹ کو سیل کرنے کا اختیار غیر قانونی قرار: سپریم کورٹ

تحریر: احمد سعید; لاہور; سپریم کورٹ نے پنجاب فوڈ اتھارٹی کے فوڈ سیکورٹی آفیسرز کے کسی بھی دکان یا ریسٹورنٹ کو سیل کرنےکے عمل کو غیر آئینی قرار دیتے ہوئے اتھارٹی کے یسٹورنٹس یا دکانوں کو سیل کرنے کے اختیار کو کالعدم قرار دے دیا.

Death sentences see decline in 2020: JPP

April 10th, 2021; By Rehan Piracha; LAHORE; The number of death sentences awarded in Pakistan for various crimes has declined to 177 in 2020, from 632 in 2019, according to statistics compiled by Justice Project Pakistan.

Juvenile offenders to get bail if trial not concluded in six months, rules LHC

The Lahore High Court held that per the Juvenile Justice Systems Act 2018, a juvenile offender should be released on bail if their trial could not be concluded within six months, provided the offender did not cause any delays in the trial.

Suspects of heinous crimes can’t be denied fair trial: SC

April 6th, 2021; By Rehan Piracha; LAHORE; The Supreme Court has ruled that the constitutional guarantee of fair trial under Article 10A cannot be taken away from an accused even in cases of heinous crimes.

Freedom Of Expression

PFUJ slams journalist’s murder

April 13th, 2021; By Rehan Piracha; LAHORE; Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists has condemned the murder of journalist Wasim Alam Khattak who shot dead by unidentified gunmen in district Karak of Khyber Pakhtunkwa province.

Bill protecting the armed forces from ridicule termed un-necessary

April 8th, 2021; By Hamid Riaz & Hassan Raza; LAHORE; Legal expert have termed a proposed bill, which levies strict penalties for ridiculing the army, an attack on Freedom Of Speech. We talked to the members of the committee who proposed & opposed the bill.

International Stories

UNDP highlights glaring economic inequality in the country

April 20th, 2021; Staff Report; LAHORE; According to the 'National Human Rights Development' report released by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), at least six percent of Pakistan’s gross domestic product (GDP) is handed over to the elite class in the form of direct or indirect privileges.

India’s new laws are discriminating against Kashmiris: UN experts

April 17th, 2021; By Rehan Piracha; LAHORE; India’s illegal annexation of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and imposition of new laws in the disputed territory discriminate against Muslim and other minorities in employment and land ownership, UN human rights expert stated in a letter to New Delhi in February.

‘LoC ceasefire commendable, but may not lead to full diplomatic ties’

Foreign policy experts say the recent ceasefire may not lead to full restoration of trade and diplomatic relationship between India and Pakistan but is an opportunity to build up trust between both governments

SAHR pays tribute to Kamran Arif

South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR) has praised late Kamran Arif’s consistent contribution towards the protection and promotion of human rights, democratic values and peace in the South Asian region.

Afghan peace process in no jeopardy despite Taliban statement: experts

March 30th, 2021; By Rehan Piracha; LAHORE; Experts say the peace process in Afghanistan is no danger despite recent statements by the United States and the Taliban over meeting the American troops withdrawal deadline from the war-ravaged country under the Doha peace accord.

MYANMAR CRACKDOWN: “They can get us anytime”

March 10th, 2021; By Hamid Riaz & Xari Jalil; LAHORE; They live in fear, even as they a pushback against the brutalities of the military junta. Myanmar's situation is slowly worsening as more and more people join a civil disobedience movt and face a relentless crackdown.

UN experts laud Pakistan for commuting death sentences of mentally ill inmates.

February 19th, 2021; By Staff Reporter; LAHORE; United Nations’ experts on human rights have lauded Pakistan’s Supreme Court for commuting the death sentence of three mentally challenged inmates. The body has also called upon judiciaries worldwide to follow the example set by the SC of Pakistan.