PESHAWAR— Human rights activists of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Tuesday aksed the provincial government to provide them legal protection as promised by the ruling party in previous tenure.

Addressing a press conference, Taimur Kamal, Coordinator of the Pakhtunkhwa Civil Society Network (PCSN), said that KP government in Human Rights Policy, notified in 2018 by the Law, Human Rights and Parliamentary Affairs Department, had promised to provide legal protection and give them recognition so that they can continue their legitimate and lawful activities without any fear of violence and intimidation but little effort has been done by the government to materialize this promise.

It is right time that the provincial government shows it commitment to support the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of association which are guaranteed under international human rights law and also by the constitution of Pakistan said Taimur Kamal.

Qamar Naseem a Human Rights Defender Said” Khyber Pakhtunkhwa could become the first Province in Pakistan to adopt a new law on the protection and recognition of human rights defenders,

“We hope that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Govt will send a strong signal to the national and international community by adopting the new law on the protection of HRDs as this would be in direct compliance with SDG 16 –peace, justice and strong institutions” Qamar concluded.

Imran Takkar, a prominent human rights activist said “Human rights defenders are at greater risk than ever today because powerful actors are responding to the interests of capitalist, and really have no laws in place to protect human rights defenders.

This is one of the great problems we face today.” Advocate Zeenat Mohib Kakakhel Advocate Peshawar High court and an education rights activist said “Protection strategies must adapt to better accommodate and foster these holistic strategies, and new ways of thinking, to keep activists and organizations safe while also challenging the deep inequalities that take shape around gender, race, class, and expressions.”

Civil Society organization of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa encouraged the KP government to continue their work to guarantee the best possible protection to human rights defenders through the process of enacting the law and ensuring that it is in line with the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders and other relevant instruments.

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