Newly elected Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan addresses the nation after the general election results were announced in Islamabad on July 26, 2018. © 2018 Muhammad Reza/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

 

 
(New York) – Pakistan’s newly elected Prime Minister Imran Khan should make human rights a key focus of his government, Human Rights Watch said in a letter made public today. Khan has an important opportunity to create a rights-respecting government that abides by the rule of law and restores the public’s faith in democratic institutions.

It is crucial for Pakistan’s development for the government to actively carry out a human rights agenda, Human Rights Watch said.

“Pakistan faces serious human rights challenges and addressing them should be one of new government’s top priorities,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The government should begin by reversing abusive laws and policies and demonstrating genuine commitment to the rule of law and equal justice.”

Human Rights Watch urges the Pakistani government to take concrete steps to protect fundamental civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights in six key areas. These are freedom of expression and attacks on civil society; freedom of religion and belief; violence against women and girls; access to education; restoring the moratorium on the death penalty; and terrorism and counterterrorism abuses.