ISLAMABAD : President Asif Ali Zardari has signed the Instrument of Ratification for the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention Against Torture (CAT).This has made Pakistan join the countries that have signed and ratified all the international conventions relating to good governance, sustainable development and human rights.
Spokesperson to the President former Senator Farhatullah Babar said that the two important covenants were signed during the first weeks of the present government on April 17, 2008 and were awaiting ratification by the Cabinet and signatures on the instrument of ratification by the President.
The Cabinet in its meeting on 24th March 2010 approved the ratification of the conventions with certain reservations.
The Instrument of the Ratification signed by the President will now be deposited in the United Nations, he said.
The Instrument of Ratification signed by the President said “Now, therefore, be it known that I, Asif Ali Zardari, President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, do by this Instrument of Ratification, confirm that the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan has ratified the said Convention subject to the contents of the Annex.”
The salient features of the Convention on Civil and Political Rights are: Article-1 All peoples have the right of self-determination.
Article-2 Respect for individuals without distinction of any
kind e.g. race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
Article -3 Equal right of men and women to all civil and political rights.
Article-6 Every human being has the inherent right to live. In countries which have not abolished the death penalty, sentence of death may be imposed only for the most serious crimes. Anyone sentenced to death shall have the right to seek pardon or commutation of the sentence. Sentence of death shall not be imposed below eighteen.
Article-7 No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In particular, no one shall be subjected without his free consent to medical or scientific experimentation.
Article-12 No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his own country.
Article-17 No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, or correspondence.
Article-18 Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. No one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice.
Article-19 Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference.
The salient features of the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment and Punishment (CAT) are as under:-
Article-1 All peoples have the right of self-determination.
Article-2 Respect for individuals without distinction of any kind e.g. race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
Article-3 No State Party shall expel, return, extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture.
Article-4 Ensure that all acts of torture are offences under its criminal law.
Article-14 Enforceable right to fair and adequate compensation.
The Instrument of Ratification signed by the President also contains reservations protecting national rights relating to (a) Islamic law and ideology (b) issue of self-determination, (c) anything repugnant to the provisions of Constitution of Pakistan, the Spokesman said.