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Title:  Pakistan Human Rights Practices, 1995   
Author:  U.S. Department of State    
Date:  March 1996    
 
 
 
 
                              PAKISTAN 
 
 
Pakistan is an Islamic republic in which power is shared between the 
Prime Minister, as the leader of the National Assembly, and the 
President.  The Chief of Army Staff also wields considerable influence 
on many major policy decisions and is the third member of the unofficial 
"troika" which governs the nation.  During 1995 Prime Minister Benazir 
Bhutto dominated political policy making, with President Farooq Leghari 
playing a complementary role.  Chief of Army Staff General Abdul Waheed 
consulted closely with the Government but avoided active involvement in 
governing. 
 
Responsibility for internal security rests primarily with the police, 
although paramilitary forces, such as the Rangers and Frontier 
Constabulary, are responsible for maintaining law and order in Karachi 
and frontier areas.  Provincial governments control the police and 
paramilitary forces when they are assisting in law and order operations.  
Members of security forces committed numerous abuses in 1995.   
 
Pakistan is a poor country, with great extremes in the distribution of 
wealth and social stratification.  Its per capita income is $450 
annually, and its rate of illiteracy is extremely high and is increasing 
among women.  Its economy includes both state-run and private industries 
and financial institutions.  The Constitution provides for the right to 
private property and the right of private businesses to operate freely 
in most sectors of the economy.  The Government continues to pursue 
economic reforms, emphasizing the privatization of government-owned 
financial institutions, industrial units, and utilities.  Cotton, 
textiles and apparel, rice, and leather products are the principal 
exports. 
 
Although the Government has publicly pledged to address human rights 
concerns, particularly those involving women, child labor, and minority 
religions, the overall human rights situation remains difficult.  
Government forces, as well as private groups including the Mohajir Quami 
Movement (MQM), were responsible for a large number of killings in 
Karachi.  Security forces used arbitrary arrest and detention, and 
tortured or abused prisoners and detainees.  The police, investigative 
and intelligence agencies, and politically motivated court cases were 
used to harass and arrest political opponents of the Government.  The 
judiciary remains subject to influence through constitutionally 
permitted transfers of judges and appointment of temporary judges to the 
High and Supreme Courts.  There was no serious government effort to 
reform the police or judicial systems or to prosecute those responsible 
for abuse.  Police continued to conduct illegal searches, and case 
backlogs led to long delays in trials.  
 
Religious zealots continued to discriminate against and persecute 
religious minorities, basing their activities in part on legislation 
which discriminates against non-muslims.  The Government made procedural 
changes which made the registration of blasphemy charges more difficult.  
Nevertheless, new blasphemy charges were brought against 10 members of 
the Ahmadi religious group in 4 separate incidents.  Religious and 
ethnic-based rivalries resulted in numerous murders, mosque bombings, 
and civil disturbances.  Traditional social and legal constraints kept 
women in a subordinate position in society.  They continued to be 
subjected to abuse, rape, and other forms of degradation by agents of 
the State, their spouses, and members of society at large.  The 
Government and employers continued to restrict worker rights 
significantly.  The use of child and bonded labor remained widespread, 
in spite of legislation to restrict these practices and the signing of a 
Memorandum of Understanding on child labor with the International Labor 
Organization (ILO).  Little was done to improve basic conditions for 
children.  Female children actually fell further behind their male 
counterparts in such measures as levels of health care and education. 
 
RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 
 
Section 1   Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
         Freedom from: 
 
   a.   Political and Other Extrajudicial Killing 
 
The number of extrajudicial killings, often in the form of deaths in 
police custody or staged encounters in which the police or paramilitary 
forces shoot and kill the suspects, increased in 1995.  Most such 
killings occurred in Sindh province in clashes between the Government 
and factions of the MQM.  In trying to restore order in Karachi, the 
Government regularly used excessive force, including torture and alleged 
encounter killings, against MQM activists.  The rate of politically 
motivated murders in Karachi reached an average of 10 per day in July; 
by year's end, over 1,800 people had been killed.  According to the 
Karachi police, 500 police officers had been suspended for misbehavior 
as of September.  None were known to have been prosecuted for abuses.   
 
On January 13, Karachi Airport police shot and killed two activists of 
the MQM, Haqiqi faction (MQM/H).  MQM Altaf Hussain Group (MQM/A) 
activist Aslam Sabzwari died in police custody on July 7, 16 hours after 
his arrest, according to press reports and the MQM/A.  On August 2, 
police killed MQM/A activist Farooq Dada, who independent observers note 
faced numerous and credible charges of murder and extortion, and three 
companions in an alleged encounter near Karachi Airport. 
 
On December 9, the torture-marked bodies of Nasir and Arif Hussain, 
reputed relatives of MQM/A leader Altaf Hussain, were found in a Karachi 
suburb.  The MQM/A claims security forces had arrested them prior to 
their murders.  Many observers believe the Government to have been 
responsible for their murders in retaliation for the murder of the 
brother of the Sindh Chief Minister (see below).   
 
Police sources have confirmed unofficially that the police do not 
believe that the courts punish repeat criminals, and that encounter 
killings of criminals are a conscious strategy to deal with recidivists.  
According to an investigation by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan 
(HRCP), an independent, non-governmental body, Karachi police killed six 
kidnapers in a staged encounter on January 13.  According to the 
investigation, no encounter took place.  The police resorted to heavy 
firing after the six were killed to make it appear that an encounter had 
taken place.  On April 17, Karachi police shot and killed Nadeem Riaz, 
known as "Nadeem Commando," a well-known criminal.  Police surrounded 
the house in the East Malir area of Karachi where he was hiding and 
claimed that he was killed during a shootout while trying to escape. 
 
Both main MQM factions, the MQM/A and the Haqiqi faction, resorted to 
extrajudicial killings and torture of their opponents and targeted 
police and security officials.    Although the MQM/A consistently claims 
that its activists are innocent, unarmed victims of ethnic violence, 
disinterested observers believe that cells of armed MQM/A activists are 
responsible for a considerable amount of Karachi's violence and crime.  
This includes extortion of large sums of money from Mohajir businessmen 
as well as others.  In an apparent attempt to inflame public opinion and 
destabilize the situation in Karachi, MQM/A leader Altaf Hussain used 
the alleged gang rape of an MQM/A supporter while in custody to call for 
three "days of mourning" in Karachi June 24-26.  At least 67 people died 
in strike-related violence during the protest.  Medical reports on the 
alleged victim, however, did not substantiate the charges of gang rape.  
The MQM/A enforced numerous other strike calls with violence, resulting 
in the deaths of law enforcement personnel and civilian bystanders. 
 
Fifteen Punjabi labors were brutally murdered in Karachi November 2 by 
unknown gunmen.  On November 23, gunmen carrying AK-47's murdered Syed 
Ahsan Ali Shah, younger brother of Sindh Chief Minister Abdallah Shah, 
near his home in an MQM/A dominated area of Karachi.  Many observers 
believe the MQM/A to be responsible for this murder.  The Government 
blamed the Haqiqi faction for a number of attacks on Karachi police 
stations, including a November 13 rocket-propelled grenade attack on a 
police complex in which 10 grenades struck the complex, injuring family 
members of police officers.   
 
Ethnic and sectarian tensions continued in 1995 and resulted in a large 
number of deaths.  Members of Shi'a and Sunni Muslim organizations 
targeting rival groups set off bombs or made armed attacks on crowded 
mosques in Karachi.  Sunni gunmen killed 20 worshipers at two Shi'a 
mosques on February 25 and 26.  Reprisal attacks killed at least 10 
Sunnis.  In March nine people were killed in sectarian clashes in 
Punjab.  Such violence tapered off by mid-year, partly due to the 
efforts of the Punjab provincial government, working with sectarian 
groups, to reduce tensions.  By the end the year, however, apparent 
sectarian deaths were again on the rise.   
 
According to police sources and the Citizen Police Liaison Committee 
(CPLC), on the morning of March 10, two activists of the militant Sunni 
organization Sipah-I-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) were gunned down in the 
Landhi area of Karachi.  That afternoon, a powerful bomb explosion 
outside a Shi'a mosque in Malir district killed 12 persons, including 8 
children.  On March 12, assailants entered a building in Karachi, 
gathered seven men from three Shi'a families, and shot them.  The 
assailants, who are thought to be members of the SSP or hired killers, 
were later arrested and are being tried for those murders. 
 
According to Christian activists and the CPLC, Javed Masih, a Christian, 
died of torture during interrogation on August 4.  Following a 
demonstration and public negotiations with the police, the three youths 
arrested along with Javed were released.  The Government has filed 
charges against three police officers implicated in this incident, but 
the officers have gone into hiding and had not been arrested by year's 
end.   
 
   b.   Disappearance 
 
MQM/A Member of the Provincial Assembly (MPA) Qamar Mansoor and activist 
Raees Fatima boarded a train from Karachi to Lahore on June 4.  The 
couple did not arrive in Lahore and their families accused government 
law enforcement agencies of arresting them and approached the courts to 
learn their whereabouts.  According to the Lahore High Court, Mansoor 
was arrested and is being held in jail in Rawalpindi.  For several 
months the Government denied having taken Raees Fatima into custody, but 
in December permitted an MQM/A senator to visit Ms. Fatima in 
Rawalpindi's Adiala jail.  Ms. Fatima claimed she had been in Government 
custody since June 4.   
 
   c.   Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or 
Punishment 
 
There continued to be credible evidence that police tortured and 
otherwise mistreated detainees.  According to the Lawyers Committee for 
Human Rights of Pakistan (LCHRP), law enforcement officials tortured to 
death more than 50 persons.  On May 29, the press carried photos of four 
MQM/A activists who were brought to the Special Court for the 
Suppression of Terrorist Activities blindfolded and visibly suffering 
from wounds.   
 
According to the press reports, one of the four had a drilled left 
buttock, another had a fractured right leg, a third had an injured left 
leg and hips, and the fourth had torture marks all over his body.  The 
police claimed to have arrested them after an encounter on May 27, while 
the counsel for the accused claimed that they were arrested at their 
homes on May 6.  The presiding officer of the court ordered the jail 
authorities to conduct a medical checkup on all four and send a report 
to him.  The chief of the MQM/A'S Legal Aid Committee alleged that 
despite the judge's orders, the police took the four to an unidentified 
police station.  Several low-ranking police officials were later 
suspended for bringing the accused blindfolded into the court. 
 
Police and prison officials routinely use force to elicit confessions 
and compel detainees to incriminate others; the practice has become 
standard procedure.  Common torture methods included:  beating, burning 
with cigarettes, whipping the soles of the feet, sexual assault, 
prolonged isolation, electric shock, denial of food or sleep, hanging 
upside down, forced spreading of the legs, and public humiliation.  Some 
magistrates and doctors helped cover up the abuse by issuing 
investigation and medical reports that the victims died of natural 
causes.  The President promulgated an ordinance in April that permits 
confessions or statements against third persons obtained during police 
interrogations in parts of the country declared to be "terrorist 
affected areas" to be used in court.  Human rights monitors view this 
ordinance as an endorsement of police torture to obtain evidence, while 
the Government argues that the law is currently not applied, because no 
part of the country has been declared a terrorist affected area. 
 
Police frequently use the threat of abuse to extort money from prisoners 
and their families.  In some cases, the authorities have detained whole 
families to force a relative who was the subject of an arrest warrant to 
surrender (see Section 1.d.). 
 
Despite regulations that prohibit the police from detaining women 
overnight, some women continue to be arbitrarily detained and sexually 
abused.  There are few policewomen to perform matron duties, despite 
regulations requiring that policewomen be present in station houses 
during the questioning or detention of females.   
 
The overall failure of successive governments to prosecute and punish 
the abusers, however, was the single largest obstacle to ending or even 
reducing the incidence of abuse.  The authorities sometimes transferred, 
arrested, or suspended offending officers, but seldom prosecuted or 
punished them.  Investigating officers generally shielded their 
colleagues.  Persons attempting to bring charges against police officers 
were often threatened by other officers and dropped the charges. 
 
However, the Government took action in some sexual abuse cases.  For 
example, according to Christian activists, Razia Masih, a Christian 
woman from near Hyderabad, Sindh, was arrested by police on August 21 on 
suspicion of theft, although police searched her home and found no 
incriminating evidence.  Masih alleges that she was repeatedly raped by 
police officials including a police inspector.  After public 
intervention by Christian Sindh MPA's, Masih was released on September 9 
and the police inspector accused of rape was arrested. 
 
The Government opened additional women's police stations staffed by 
female personnel in Faisalabad, Punjab, and Abbottabad and Saidu Sharif, 
Northwest Frontier province (NWFP).  The first women's police station in 
Rawalpindi was opened in 1994.  The cases registered at the women's 
police stations involve wife beatings and burnings, kidnaping, rape, 
theft, and domestic disputes.  In June an army court sentenced two 
soldiers to life in prison, 30 lashes, and expelled them from the army 
for molesting a female minor in Karachi. 
 
The incidence of rape, torture, and abuse was not restricted to the 
security forces.  There were reports that different factions of the MQM 
tortured and killed members of rival groups.  For example, according to 
the HRCP, there were at least seven cases where Haqiqi activists raped 
female activists of the rival MQM/A in Karachi. 
 
The Hadood Ordinances, promulgated by the central Government in 1979, 
were an attempt to make the Penal Code more Islamic.  These ordinances 
provide harsh punishments for violating Islamic law, or Shari'a, 
including death by stoning for unlawful sexual relations and amputation 
for some other crimes.  In practice, the standards of evidence for 
imposing these punishments are exceptionally high, and to date they have 
not been carried out. 
 
Nonetheless, these laws have been applied to Muslims and non-Muslims 
alike and weigh most heavily on women.  A woman who reports that she has 
been raped may find herself charged with adultery under the Hadood 
Ordinances.  According to a police official, in up to 80 percent of rape 
cases, the victims are pressured to drop rape charges because of the 
threat of Hadood adultery charges being brought against them.  All 
consensual extramarital sexual relations are considered violations of 
the Hadood Ordinances.  However, according to a lawyer from the HRCP, 
the Government has brought fewer charges against women under the Hadood 
Ordinances than in the past, and the courts have shown greater leniency 
toward women in their sentences and in the granting of bail.  Another 
troubling aspect of the Hadood Ordinances is the possibility that a 
person could be tried twice for the same crime, once under criminal 
statutes and once under the Hadood Ordinances. 
 
In August two Irish nationals were sentenced to five lashes each for 
hashish smuggling under the Haddod Ordinances.  The sentence was carried 
out, making it the first lashing of foreigners under the Hadood 
Ordinances in Pakistan. 
 
There are three classes of prison facilities:  Class "C" cells generally 
hold common criminals and those in pretrial detention.  Such cells often 
have dirt floors, no furnishings, and poor food.  The use of handcuffs 
and fetters is common.  Prisoners in these cells reportedly suffer the 
most abuse, such as beatings and being forced to kneel for long periods.  
Conditions in "B" and "A" cells are markedly better.  The authorities 
reserve the latter for prominent persons.  Especially prominent 
individuals, including some political figures, are sometimes held under 
house arrest and permitted to receive visitors. 
 
There were reports that wealthy landlords or political parties operated 
private jails.  Many such jails are believed to exist in tribal and 
feudal areas.  Some of the prisoners have reportedly been held in them 
for many years.  In August, the Government cracked down on supporters of 
the Tanzeem-I-Ittehad- 
I-Ulema-I-Qabail (TIUQ) Movement, a tribal organization accused of 
functioning as a parallel government in the Khyber Agency by conducting 
trials, levying fines, imposing punishments such as public floggings, 
and operating a private jail.  The Government demolished the TIUQ'S 
headquarters and the houses of several key TIUQ agitators.  The 
Government released eight TIUQ leaders arrested on weapons charges on 
the condition that the TIUQ quasi-governmental administration be 
dissolved. 
 
In late November, a team from the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan 
raided two such private jails in Sanghar, Sindh Province.  The HRCP 
found five chained workers in a sugar cane field of a wealthy landlord 
and another group of people working in similar conditions in fields 
owned by a Sindh police official.  The HRCP action encouraged the 
Sanghar police to raid another private jail, freeing 46 prisoners who 
were working as bonded laborers.  According to press reports, although 
the overseers of the plantations were arrested, the landlords themselves 
avoided capture by the authorities.   
 
   d.   Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile 
 
The law permits a Deputy Commissioner (DC) of a local district to order 
detention without charge for 30 days of persons suspected of threatening 
public order and safety.  The DC may renew detention in 30-day periods, 
for a total of 90 days.  For other criminal offenses, the police may 
hold a suspect for 24 hours without charge.  If the police can provide 
material proof that detention is necessary for an investigation, a court 
may extend detention for a total of 15 days. 
 
In practice, the authorities do not strictly observe the limits on 
detention.  The police are not required to notify anyone when an arrest 
is made and often hold detainees without charge until they are 
challenged by a court.  The police sometimes detain individuals 
arbitrarily without charge, or on false charges, in order to extort 
payment for their release.  Some women continue to be arbitrarily 
detained and sexually abused (see Section 1.a.).  The law stipulates 
that detainees must be brought to trial within 30 days of their arrest.  
However, in many cases trials do not start until about 6 months after 
the filing of charges. 
 
The authorities generally permit family members and lawyers to visit 
inmates.  However, in some cases the authorities refuse such visits.  In 
the case of politicians and party workers charged with various offenses, 
the authorities incarcerated some of them away from their home districts 
thereby discouraging visits by family members, supporters, and 
attorneys.  MQM/A Senator Zahid Akhtar was arrested at Karachi Airport 
on May 31 and charged with terrorist activities.  He 
was immediately taken to Islamabad, but was held in custody in Peshawar 
for trial in the Suppression of Terrorist Activity Court in Peshawar.  
The MQM/A claims that the Government has moved several of its detained 
Sindh MPA'S to locations outside Karachi and Sindh. 
 
The Government uses mass arrests to quell civil unrest.  During attempts 
to reduce crime and violence in Karachi, the MQM/A claimed that police 
and Rangers arrested 7,000 Mohajirs in numerous police sweeps.  Many of 
those arrested were not suspected of committing a specific crime, and 
were allegedly held until family members paid police officers a ransom 
for their release. 
 
According to the LCHRP, by mid-August the Government had made over 
12,000 arrests on suspicion of terrorist activities countrywide, with 
9,200 of those arrests in Karachi alone.  The LCHRP said 830 MQM/A 
activists and 189 activists of other parties remained in custody in 
Sindh, and 92 activists of political parties and sectarian groups 
remained incarcerated in Punjab. 
 
The Government selectively used criminal charges and arrest to harass 
political opponents.  The Government continued to detain one senator 
from the Pakistan Muslim League, Nawaz Sharif Group (PML/N), who was 
arrested in 1994.  Three PML/N members of the National Assembly (MNA) 
arrested in 1994 were released on bail in 1995.  The opposition alleged 
credibly that the Government put political pressure on the judiciary to 
deny or delay bail to the arrested politicians.  Three MQM/A senators 
and 11 MQM/A members of the Sindh Provincial Assembly (MPA's) arrested 
in 1994 on criminal charges continued to be denied bail and remained in 
custody.  In December the courts released on bail one MQM/A Senator.  
The authorities established detention facilities near the Sindh 
Provincial Assembly building to allow jailed MQM/A MPA's to attend 
sessions, and brought the detained MQM/A Senators to Islamabad to attend 
Senate sessions.  Pakistani courts routinely granted bail to others 
accused of similar offenses. 
 
Federal Investigative Agency agents arrested 70-year-old Karachi 
businessman Riaz Shaffi in January for alleged business irregularities 
in connection with his reacquisition of his previously nationalized 
business.  His detention, along with that of other Karachi businessmen, 
was believed to have been politically motivated. 
 
The Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) have a separate legal 
system, the Frontier Crimes Regulation, which recognizes the doctrine of 
"collective responsibility."  Under this regulation, the authorities are 
empowered to detain the fellow members of a fugitive's tribe, or to 
blockade the fugitive's village, pending his surrender or punishment by 
his own tribe in accordance with the local tradition.  The Government 
exercised such authority in 1995.  For example, on August 12, Frontier 
Troops bulldozed the headquarters of the TIUQ in Khyber Agency following 
violent TIUQ protests against the arrests of some its leaders. 
 
The Movement for Enforcement of Islamic Law (TNSM) in the NWFP's 
Malakand Division continued its activities in 1995, although with 
diminished strength.  The Government responded forcefully to protests by 
the Movement's followers, stationing more troops in the region, 
arresting hundreds of activists, and bulldozing houses and shops of the 
Movement's supporters.  After urging his supporters not to pay taxes as 
part of a civil disobedience campaign until Shari'a was enforced, the 
Movement's leader and many others were arrested in June.  Despite the 
leader's call for nonviolent protests, 11 persons died during clashes 
between the TNSM and Frontier Corps troops.   
 
The Government does not use forced exile. 
 
   e.   Denial of Fair Public Trial 
 
The Constitution provides for an independent judiciary.  In reality, 
however, the judiciary is not independent.  Through the President's 
power to transfer high court justices and appoint temporary and ad hoc 
justices, the executive branch is able to influence the Supreme Court, 
the provincial high courts, and the lower levels of the judicial system.  
It has become standard practice to appoint judges to the high courts and 
Supreme Court on temporary basis for a period of 1 year and later 
confirm or terminate their appointments after an evaluation of their 
performance.  Legal experts say that temporary judges, eager to be 
confirmed following their probationary period, tend to favor the 
Government's case in their deliberations.  Judges in the Special 
Terrorism Courts are retired jurists who are hired on renewable 
contracts.  The desire to maintain their positions has the potential to 
influence their decisions. 
 
Despite the Government's promise to strengthen judicial independence, it 
took several measures to influence the court for political reasons.  The 
Supreme Court heard the bail application and denied bail to an 
opposition Member of the National Assembly (MNA) in a case where bail 
would routinely have been granted by a lower court.  Mian Qurban Sadiq 
Ikram, special judge for the Court of Banking Offenses, was removed from 
the bench on July 31, a day after he granted interim bail to the father 
of opposition leader Nawaz Sharif. 
 
The Government brought additional criminal cases against the leader of 
the opposition, Nawaz Sharif, members of his family, and his family 
businesses.  The Punjab provincial government in 
June brought treason charges against Sharif and 17 others for their 
alleged attempt to unseat the province's Chief Minister in 1993.  The 
Government dropped the treason charges in September following numerous 
public and editorial statements against them, but other charges against 
the groups remain pending.  At year's end, these cases were still 
pending in the court system.  The accused remained free to conduct 
opposition political activities.   
 
The judicial system involves several different court systems with 
overlapping and sometimes competing jurisdictions.  There are civil and 
criminal systems with special courts for high-profile cases, as well as 
the Federal Shari'a appeals courts for certain Hadood offenses.  The 
appeals process in the civil system is:  civil court, district court, 
high court, and the Supreme Court.  In the criminal system, the 
progression is:  magistrate, sessions court, high court, and Supreme 
Court. 
 
The civil judicial system provides for an open trial, cross-examination, 
representation by an attorney, and appeal of sentences.  Attorneys are 
appointed for indigents only in capital cases.  There are no jury 
trials.  Owing to the limited number of judges, the heavy backlog of 
cases, and lengthy court procedures, cases routinely drag on for years, 
although defendants are required to make frequent court appearances.  In 
both the Hadood and standard criminal codes, there are bailable and 
nonbailable offenses.  According to the Criminal Procedures Code, the 
accused in bailable offenses must be granted bail, and the accused in 
nonbailable offenses should be granted bail if accused of a crime that 
carries a sentence of less than 10 years.  Bail is set, often purposely, 
at unreasonably high levels for indigent defendants. 
 
The Federal Shari'a Court and the Shari'a Bench of the Supreme Court 
serve as appeals courts for certain convictions in criminal court under 
the Hadood Ordinances.  The Federal Shari'a Court also may overturn 
legislation judged to be inconsistent with the tenets of Islam.  
However, these cases may be appealed to the Shari'a Bench of the Supreme 
Court. 
 
The judicial process continued to be impeded by bureaucratic infighting, 
inactivity, and the overlapping jurisdictions of the different court 
systems.  Scores of positions in the lower magistracy remained unfilled.  
Persons in jail awaiting trial are sometimes held for periods longer 
than the sentence they would receive if convicted. 
 
The Government may refer cases involving terrorism--bombings, sabotage, 
highway robberies, banditry, kidnapping, or similar offenses--to special 
terrorism courts established by the Suppression of Terrorist Activities 
Act of 1975.  Many legal experts believe the special courts do not 
provide for a fair trial.  They maintain that the short time for 
investigations and trials detract from the accused's right to prepare an 
adequate defense.  Some observers maintain that trial procedures have 
effectively repudiated the presumption of innocence.  They also cite the 
encroachment by federal authorities on the provincial governments' 
constitutional authority to administer justice and the inherent 
unfairness of parallel courts to which cases may be assigned 
arbitrarily.  Moreover, the special courts may deny bail if the judges 
decide that the accused may have reasonably committed an offense. 
 
Government officials and some attorneys maintain that despite the 
deficiencies, the special courts are necessary because of the judicial 
backlog.  They also maintain that the rules of evidence apply in the 
courts, defendants have the right to counsel, and the judges must meet 
the same standards as those appointed to a high court.  Defendants also 
have the right to appeal, but only one appeal is allowed. 
 
One opposition Assembly member, Shaikh Rashid Ahmad, was convicted in a 
terrorism court in February of possession of an unregistered assault 
rifle.  At year's end he remained in custody pending legal appeals. 
 
A 1990 Shari'a court decision resulted in the introduction of the 
Islamic concepts of Qisas--roughly an "eye for an eye"--and Diyat--
"blood money"--into the Penal Code.  The Qisas and Diyat Ordinance 
allows compensation to be paid to a victim's family in lieu of the 
accused receiving punishment.  As a result, wealthy or influential 
persons sometimes escape punishment for such crimes as murder and 
assault.  The right to seek pardon or commutation is not available to 
defendants under the  
 
Ordinance.  The Hadood and Qisas and Diyat ordinances apply to both 
ordinary criminal courts and Shari'a courts.  According to Christian 
activists, if a Muslim murders a Christian, he can compensate for the 
crime by paying the victim's family Diyat; however, if a Christian 
murders a Muslim, he does not have the option of paying Diyat and must 
serve a jail sentence or face the death penalty for his crime. 
 
Appeals of certain Hadood convictions involving penalties in excess of 2 
years' imprisonment are referred exclusively to the Shari'a courts.  
Cases referred to the Federal Shari'a court are heard jointly by Islamic 
scholars and High Court judges using ordinary criminal procedures.  
Cases referred to the Shari'a bench of the Supreme Court are heard 
jointly by Islamic scholars and Supreme Court judges using ordinary 
criminal procedures.  Judges and attorneys must be Muslim and be 
familiar with Islamic law.  Within these limits, defendants in the 
Shari'a court are entitled to the lawyer of their choice.  There is a 
system of bail. 
 
Under the Hadood Ordinances, evidence is given different weight 
depending on the religion and sex of the witness.  A non-Muslim may not 
be a witness against a Muslim but may offer testimony against another 
non-Muslim.  Testimony of females is not admissible for the harsher 
punishments (lashing, amputation, and stoning).  In cases involving 
financial matters, the testimony of two women is required for it to be 
admitted as evidence.  The evidentiary laws that apply to lesser 
punishments are roughly based on English common law. 
 
There continued to be charges that magistrates and police, under 
pressure to achieve high conviction rates, persuade detainees to plead 
guilty without informing them of the consequences.  Politically powerful 
persons also attempt to influence magistrates' decisions and have used 
various forms of pressure on the magistrates, including the threat to 
transfer them to other assignments.  Magistrates also perform a wide 
variety of administrative functions for the provincial governments, 
reducing the time devoted to judicial duties. 
 
Administration of justice in the FATA is normally the responsibility of 
tribal elders and maliks, or leaders.  They may conduct hearings 
according to Islamic law and tribal custom.  In such proceedings, the 
accused have no right to legal representation, bail, or appeal.  The 
usual penalties consist of fines, even for murder.  However, the 
Government's political agents, who are federal civil servants assigned 
to local governments, oversee such proceedings and may impose prison 
terms of up to 14 years. 
 
In remote areas outside the jurisdiction of federal political, agents, 
tribal councils occasionally levy harsher, unsanctioned punishments, 
including flogging or death by shooting or stoning.  Paramilitary forces 
under the direction of the political agents frequently perform punitive 
actions during enforcement operations.  For example, in raids on 
criminal activities, the authorities have been known to damage 
surrounding homes as extrajudicial punishment of residents for having 
tolerated nearby criminal activity. 
 
There are fewer than 10 known political prisoners.  Several are serving 
sentences under the laws concerning the Ahmadi religious sect.  Three 
persons are appealing death sentences for blasphemy (see Section 2.c.).  
 
   f.   Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 
 
By law the police must obtain a warrant to search a house but do not 
need a warrant to search a person.  However, the police often enter 
homes without a warrant, and frequently steal valuables during searches.  
In the absence of a warrant, a policeman is subject to charges of 
criminal trespass.  However, policemen are seldom punished for illegal 
entry. 
 
The Government maintains several domestic intelligence services which 
monitor politicians, political activists, suspected terrorists, and 
suspected foreign intelligence agents.  Credible reports indicate that 
the authorities commonly resort to wiretapping and occasionally 
intercept and open mail.  On July 1, the Government suspended cellular 
phone, card pay phone, and pager services in Karachi and Hyderabad.  The 
Government accused the MQM/A and criminals of using these services to 
commit crimes in Sindh.   
 
Section 2   Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 
 
   a.   Freedom of Speech and Press 
 
The Constitution provides for freedom of speech and the press, and 
citizens are generally free to discuss public issues.  There were 
increased efforts by the Government and private groups to restrict press 
freedoms, but those efforts had little practical effect on press 
reporting.  The Constitution stipulates the death penalty for anyone who 
damages the Constitution by any act, including the publication of 
statements against the spirit of the Constitution.  The Constitution 
prohibits the ridicule of Islam, the armed forces, or the judiciary.  
Moreover, the Penal Code mandates the death sentence for anyone 
convicted of blaspheming the Prophet Mohammed (see Section 2.c.).  
Journalists censor themselves on such subjects.  Some journalists claim 
that the competitive nature of Pakistani politics helps to ensure press 
freedom since the media serve as a forum for political parties to 
compete with one another.   
 
 
A Print, Press, and Publications Ordinance requires the registration of 
printing presses and newspapers and allows the Government to confiscate 
newspapers or magazines deemed objectionable.  Foreign books must pass 
government censors before being reprinted, although the importation of 
books is freely allowed.  Government censors occasionally ban 
publications, usually for objectionable religious content, but for other 
reasons as well. 
 
On June 29, the Sindh provincial government suspended the publication of 
six Urdu newspapers for 60 days, accusing them of publishing sensational 
news items prejudicial to the maintenance of public order.  Following 
meetings between the Sindh Chief Minister and journalist unions, the 
bans were lifted a week after being imposed. 
 
A government-owned press trust controls two newspapers, an English-
language and an Urdu daily.  The Ministry of Information controls one of 
the two main wire services; the other is privately owned.  The numerous 
privately owned newspapers have a circulation that far exceeds that of 
the government-owned newspapers.  The government newspapers and wire 
services are circumspect in their coverage of the news and generally 
follow the government line. 
 
Privately owned newspapers freely discuss public policy and criticize 
the Government.  They report remarks made by opposition politicians and 
their editorials reflect a wide spectrum of views. 
 
The Government attempts to influence editorial policy at privately-owned 
newspapers by its power to allocate duty free newsprint and its 
placement of government advertising, an important source of newspaper 
revenue.  There are allegations that the Government increases the 
newsprint quota for perceived progovernment papers.  The Ministry of 
Information stopped placing advertising in the proopposition Urdu Daily 
Khabrain, claiming that it had engaged in irresponsible journalism.  
There continued to be widespread and credible reports of journalists 
taking bribes from the Government or opposition parties in return for 
favorable coverage. 
 
During the year, various political parties and police specifically 
targeted, arrested, and harassed newspapers and reporters.  Pakistan 
Peoples Party (PPP) member Syed Masroor Ahsan sued Dawn columnist 
Ardeshir Cowasgee for a November 25, 1994 column criticizing the 
judiciary.  The editor and publisher of Dawn also faced charges of 
contempt over the story.  The Supreme Court adjourned the hearing in 
early June; the case was still pending at year's end.  In March the 
office of the Observer, an Islamabad-based daily, was attacked.  In May 
a Karachi-based reporter, known for his stories criticizing the 
Government, was attacked at his home in Karachi, where unidentified 
assailants beat his son and younger brother.  In June a journalist 
associated with the Urdu daily Khabrain was severely beaten by the 
police in Multan.  Khabrain alleged that he was punished by the police 
for his association with a proopposition newspaper and demanded that the 
Government take action against the police official allegedly involved.  
An HRCP official said that the journalist had engaged in blackmail.  
Also in June, rockets were fired on the offices of Nawa-e-Waqt and the 
Nation in Karachi.  The Nawa-e-Waqt office had been bombed previously, 
in late February. 
 
On June 7, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) arrested without 
charge Zafaryab Ahmad, a free-lance Lahore-based journalist associated 
with the Bonded Labor Liberation Front (BLLF).  Ahmad was later charged 
with sedition and accused of working with Indian intelligence to damage 
Pakistan's carpet industry exports through false reporting.  After 6 
weeks of detention, the Lahore High Court released him on interim bail.  
At year's end, the sedition case was pending in the courts. 
 
On August 17, Karachi police officers asked monthly magazine Newsline 
editor, Razia Bhatti, to send to the police station a reporter who had 
written an "unfavorable" story about the Sindh governor.  During the 
next 16 hours, police visited the Newsline office and Bhatti's 
apartment, looking for both Bhatti and the journalist. 
 
On August 24, a group from the radical Sunni Siph-e-Sahaba (SSP) 
attacked and ransacked the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) office 
in Islamabad and physically beat the BBC correspondent and a member of 
his staff.  They were protesting a BBC documentary on the SSP'S 
sectarian activities in Pakistan.  SSP Chief Maulana Zia-ur-Rehman 
Farooqi publicly claimed responsibility for the incident, saying that it 
was intended as a peaceful protest, not a sacking of the office.  The 
Prime Minister publicly deplored the attack and Punjab police arrested 
Farooqi, but later released him. 
 
The Government owns and operates most radio stations.  Private radio 
stations that do not report news operate in the Islamabad, Rawalpindi 
and Lahore markets.  The Government also operates all but one 
semiprivate television station.  It strictly controls their news 
broadcasts.  However, the semi-private Shalimar Television Network (STN) 
provides programs including Cable News Network (CNN) and BBC programs, 
with considerable independence from government oversight.  The 
Government censors segments of CNN and BBC programs considered socially 
offensive.  The Ministry of Information monitors the advertisements on 
STN, editing or removing those deemed objectionable.  Satellite dishes 
are readily available on the local market, and many Pakistanis use them 
to watch uncensored foreign broadcasts.  Access to the Internet became 
available in Pakistan in 1995, and the Government is studying whether--
and how--to control the medium. 
 
Conservative religious and political groups have been active in 
promoting their own code of social morality.  The Shari'a Law has 
bolstered such efforts by placing greater pressure on individuals to 
conform to Islamic sensibilities.  Jamaat-I-Islami's student wing, 
Islami Jamait-I-Tulaba (IJT) threatened citizens planning to hold 
musical or dance parties, especially New Year's Eve parties. 
 
Literary and creative works remain generally free of censorship.  
Obscene literature, a category broadly defined by the Government, is 
subject to seizure.  Dramas and documentaries on previously taboo 
subjects, including corruption, social privilege, narcotics, violence 
against women, and female inequality, are frequently broadcast on 
television.  However, a religious extremist student group disrupted a 
musical performance in Multan because the students objected to the style 
of the female singer, who regularly encourages her audience to dance. 
 
The Government and universities generally respect academic freedom.  
However, the atmosphere of violence and intolerance fostered by student 
organizations, typically tied to political parties, is a threat to 
academic freedom.  On some campuses, well-armed groups of students of 
varying political persuasions clash with and intimidate other students, 
instructors, and administrators on matters of language, syllabus, 
examination policies, doctrine, and dress.  In June a group of male 
Punjab University students were beaten by IJT activists after ignoring 
an IJT warning not to go on a recreational trip with female classmates. 
 
Human rights groups remain concerned about the implementation of a 1992 
Supreme Court ruling that prohibits student political organizations on 
campuses.  While they acknowledge that the ruling led to a reduction of 
campus violence, they question the legality of school officials 
expelling students for membership in a political organization. 
 
   b.   Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 
 
The Constitution provides for freedom of association subject to 
restrictions by government ordinance and law.  There are no banned 
groups or parties. 
 
The Government generally permits peaceful assembly.  District 
magistrates occasionally exercised their power under the Criminal 
Procedures Code to ban meetings of more than four people when 
demonstrations seemed likely to result in violence.  This provision was 
invoked frequently in June during the Islamic month of Muharram, when 
tensions between Sunni and Shi'a Muslims traditionally peak.  However, 
Shi'a were granted licenses to conduct processions on specified routes.  
Shi'a groups, however, protested that they should not be required to 
obtain licenses for holding Muharram processions.  Many observers 
attributed the relatively peaceful month of Muharram to these measures.  
The Government usually did not interfere with large political rallies.  
However, on several occasions opposition demonstrators blocking the Main 
Mall road in Lahore were arrested by the police.  All were later 
released. 
 
Opposition leader Nawaz Sharif and other opposition politicians traveled 
unhindered across the country throughout the year, holding large rallies 
critical of the Government.  However, the authorities sometimes 
prevented leaders of politico-religious parties from traveling to 
certain areas if they believed their presence would increase sectarian 
tensions.  Police issued arrest warrants for three prominent Christian 
leaders  following a peaceful September protest rally in Islamabad 
against the country's system of separate electorates for minorities (see 
Section 2.c.).   
 
   c.   Freedom of Religion 
 
Pakistan is an Islamic republic in which 97 percent of the people are 
Muslim.  The Constitution requires that laws be consistent with Islam.  
The Government permits Muslims to convert to other faiths but prohibits 
proselytizing among Muslims.  According to the Government's Human Rights 
Cell, "Islamiyyat" (Islamic Studies) is compulsory for all Muslim 
students in state-run schools.  Students of other faiths are not 
required to study Islam, but are not provided with parallel studies in 
their own religion.  In practice, however, many non-Muslim students are 
compelled by teachers to complete the Islamiyyat studies. 
 
Minority religious groups fear that the Shari'a Law and its goal of 
"Islamizing" government and society may further restrict the freedom to 
practice their religion.  Discriminatory religious legislation has 
encouraged an atmosphere of religious intolerance which has led to acts 
of violence directed at Ahmadis, Christians, Hindus, and Zikris. 
 
A 1974 constitutional amendment declared Ahmadis to be a non-Muslim 
minority because they do not accept Mohammed as the last prophet of 
Islam.  However, Ahmadis regard themselves as Muslims and observe many 
Islamic practices.  In 1984 the Government inserted Section 298(c) into 
the Penal Code which prohibited an Ahmadi from calling himself a Muslim 
and banned Ahmadis from using Islamic terminology.  The punishment is up 
to 3 years' imprisonment and a fine.  Since 1984, the Government has 
used this provision to harass Ahmadis. 
 
The 1993 Supreme Court ruling upholding Section 298(c) emboldened anti-
Ahmadi groups and resulted in more court cases against Ahmadis.  In 1995 
cases under Section 298(c) were filed against at least 20 Ahmadis.  
These cases were still pending in the courts at year's end.  In late 
February, an Ahmadi was arrested and charged under 298(c) for preaching 
his faith because he was listening to a religious cassette in his own 
shop.  He was released from prison on bail in late March, but his case 
remains pending in the courts.  Also in late March, 
six Ahmadis were charged under 298(c) for publishing invitation cards 
with Islamic epithets. 
 
In April a crowd attacked three Ahmadis visiting a village north of 
Peshawar, killing one and injuring a second.  
The Ahmadis had travelled to the village to post bail for a recent 
convert who was in protective custody after being arrested for offenses 
against Islam.  A local mullah (religious leader) had issued a fatwa 
accusing the convert of apostasy and condemning him to death for 
renouncing Islam.  The convert had been arrested in April under sections 
107 and 151 of the Criminal Procedures Code to prevent the breach of 
peace, even though he had sought police protection because of threats to 
his life.  The convert was later charged under sections 295(a) and 
298(c) of the Penal Code.  In late July, the charges under 295(a) and 
298(c) were lifted and the convert subsequently released.  A murder case 
was registered against all known members of the mob as no specific 
individual was identified as the culprit. 
 
Ahmadis are not allowed to be buried in Muslim graveyards.  In 1995, the 
bodies of 15 Ahmadis buried in Muslim graveyards were allegedly exhumed.  
A group of mullahs, supported by the local Assistant Commissioner of 
Liaqatpur, in October ordered that the body of an Ahmadi woman be 
removed from the common cemetery in the town.  The body was exhumed and 
reburied in land owned by the Ahmadis.  Eleven Ahmadi mosques remained 
sealed, and four Ahmadi mosques are occupied by other Muslim sects.  The 
Government classifies Ahmadis as "non-Muslims" on their passports.  This 
has led the authorities in Saudi Arabia to prevent Ahmadis from making 
the Muslim religious pilgrimage to Mecca.  Christians are also subject 
to harassment by the authorities, notably including the blasphemy laws 
and difficulty in obtaining permission to build churches. 
 
In 1986 the Government inserted Section 295(c) into the Penal Code which 
stipulates the death penalty for blaspheming the Prophet Mohammed.  This 
provision has been used by litigants against Ahmadis, Christians, and 
even Muslims. 
 
According to the HRCP, the Government made unofficial changes to the 
procedures for filing formal blasphemy charges.  Magistrates are now 
required to investigate allegations of  
 
blasphemy to see whether they are credible before filing formal charges.  
Despite administrative changes in filing blasphemy charges, new charges 
were brought against 10 Ahmadis in 1995 in four separate incidents.  
Five Ahmadis in Khairpur district, Sindh, were charged under both 
blasphemy and anti-Ahmadi laws for displaying banners carrying verses of 
the Koran during a rally of Ahmadi youth.  Another Ahmadi in Hafizbad, 
Punjab was charged with blasphemy in October for preaching his faith.  
In March two other Ahmadis were implicated under blasphemy and anti-
Ahmadi laws in Sanghar, Sindh, for translating the Quran into Sindhi.  
At year's end, all of these individuals were free on bail and awaiting 
or undergoing trial.  In November blasphemy charges were brought against 
two Ahmadis in Larkana, Sindh.  The Larkana sessions court judge 
rejected their bail requests and the pair remained in jail.   
 
Since 1986 at least 100 blasphemy cases have been registered against 
Ahmadis, with no convictions.  In the same period, at least nine 
blasphemy cases have been brought against Christians and nine against 
Muslims.  Some of these cases continued in the courts.   
 
In early February, a Lahore sessions court found two Christians, Salamat 
and Rehmat Masih, guilty of blasphemy and sentenced them to death.  On 
February 23, however, the Lahore High Court acquitted them of blasphemy 
when the court found that insufficient evidence for conviction was 
presented at the original trial.  Salamat and Rehmat Masih subsequently 
emigrated with the assistance of the Government. 
 
Anwar Yaqub Masih, a Christian arrested in 1993 on the charge of 
uttering "blasphemous phrases against the Prophet Mohammed," has served 
2 years in the Faisalabad District Prison awaiting the conclusion of his 
trial.  Following the February acquittal of Salamat and Rehmat Masih by 
the High Court, SSP activists announced that "as the courts were not 
likely to punish blasphemers" they would themselves kill Anwar Masih.  
In March following defense counsel Asma Jehangir's application for 
transfer of the case from Samundri to Faisalabad, the Lahore High Court 
ordered the staying of the proceedings at Samundri until further notice.  
Anwar Masih remains in prison. 
 
In April a woman was accused of blasphemy for the first time.   A 
Christian teacher in a girls school in Muzaffafgarh district, Punjab, 
32-year-old Catherine Shaheen, was accused by her colleagues and some 
local residents of "insulting the Prophet Mohammed" and preaching 
Christianity.  An inquiry conducted by the HRCP concluded that she had 
not committed blasphemy but was a victim of professional jealousy and 
personal animosity.  A formal inquiry report was submitted to the local 
magistrate to determine whether formal charges of blasphemy should be 
filed.  Human rights activists believe that the inquiry report favors 
Shaheen's case.  Students belonging to a local religious political party 
and local mullahs are leading a campaign against Ms. Shaheen.  Six of 
them are reported to have taken an oath to kill her.  Since the case 
started, Shaheen has been transferred to another area.  According to the 
HRCP, the Education Department has decided on its own initiative not to 
pay her salary. 
 
In January 2 Shi'as in Peshawar were convicted of blasphemy and 
sentenced to death for asking a local printer to produce 10,000 copies 
of a handbill containing a claimed pictorial representation of the 
Prophet Mohammad.  Their appeal is pending before the Peshawar High 
Court. 
 
Mohammad Arshad Javaid of Bahawalpur, a 37-year-old Muslim who is 
reportedly mentally unsound and was convicted of blasphemy in 1994 
remains in prison pending appeal to the High Court. 
 
Badshah Khan, a Muslim from Narowal District, Punjab, was accused by 
relatives in March of writing blasphemous words on a wall.  Khan 
immediately petitioned the Lahore High Court, stating that he was being 
implicated in a false blasphemy case because of a property dispute with 
the complainants.  The High Court has directed the police to submit a 
complete investigation report to the Court, and no formal blasphemy 
charges have yet been filed. 
 
Following an August 11 rally in protest of the country's system of 
separate electorates for minorities, well-known Christian leaders Bishop 
John Joseph, Chaudhry Cecil, and Clement Shabaz Bhatti were charged with 
promotion of discord  between religious groups.  They were granted pre-
arrest bail. 
 
When such religious cases are brought to court, extremists often pack 
the courtroom and make public threats against an acquittal.  As a 
result, judges and magistrates often continue trials indefinitely, and 
the accused is burdened with further legal costs and repeated court 
appearances. 
 
   d.   Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign Travel, 
Emigration, and Repatriation 
 
Most citizens enjoy freedom of movement within the country and to travel 
abroad, but the Government occasionally prohibits movement of persons 
within Pakistan through "externment orders" when it believes their 
presence will lead to a threat to public order.  Travel to Israel is 
legally prohibited.  Government employees must obtain "no objection 
certificates" before traveling abroad.  Students are also required to 
have these certificates from their institutions.  Citizens have and 
regularly exercise the right to emigrate.  Exit control lists, however, 
are used to prevent the departure of wanted criminals.  The Government 
increasingly included businessmen, journalists, and political figures on 
the exit control list as a form of political harassment.  No judicial 
action is required to add a name to the exit control list, and there is 
no judicial recourse or formal appeal mechanism if one's name is added.  
In 1995 several industrialists were prevented from leaving the country, 
allegedly because of political sympathies for opposition leader Nawaz 
Sharif.  Nawaz Sharif's father was also stopped at the airport for 
several hours before special permission was granted by the Interior 
Ministry for him to leave.  Despite specific permission from the 
Government, a groups of MQM/A members negotiating with the Government 
was once prevented from traveling to London for consultations with MQM/A 
leader Altaf Hussain. 
 
On numerous occasions, opposition political parties effectively 
prevented free movement within the country by calling strikes in Karachi 
and other cities of Sindh province and enforcing those strike calls with 
violence and the threat of violence.  MQM/A activists ransacked 
businesses which remained open and attacked motorists and pedestrians 
found on the street.  Largely out of fear of MQM/A sponsored violence, 
ordinary citizens were prevented from leaving their homes to go to work, 
schools, and the market. 
 
The Government cooperates with the United Nations High Commissioner for 
Refugees (UNHCR) and other humanitarian organizations in assisting 
refugees.  There were no reports of forced expulsion of those having a 
valid claim to refugee status. 
 
According to the UNHCR, approximately 885,000 registered Afghan refugees 
remained in Pakistan at the end of the year.  A total of 144,000 Afghan 
refugees were repatriated in the first 10 months of 1995, 75,000 of 
those assisted by the UNHCR.  Since 1988 over 2.4 million Afghans have 
repatriated from Pakistan.  
 
Afghan refugees in Pakistan have limited access to legal protection and 
depend on the ability of the UNHCR and leaders of their groups to 
resolve disputes among themselves and with Pakistani society.  There 
were credible reports that in the wake of the sacking of the Pakistani 
Embassy in Kabul, the bombing of the Egyptian Embassy in Islamabad, and 
a large bomb blast in Peshawar in December, policed harassed 
undocumented refugees in Islamabad, Peshwar, and Rawalapindi.  Afghan 
men and boys were reportedly stopped, and police reportedly extorted 
money for their failure to possess valid travel documents.  Police also 
frequently prevent Afghan nationals from entering these cities.  Most 
able-bodied male refugees have found at least intermittent employment 
but are not covered by labor laws.  Women and girls obtained 
increasingly better education and health care as NGO's provided 
increased services. 
 
The "repatriation" of Biharis continued to be a contentious issue.  The 
Biharis are Urdu-speaking people from the Indian state of Bihar who went 
to East Pakistan--now Bangladesh--at the time of partition in 1947.  
Since 1971, when Bangladesh became independent, approximately 250,000 
Biharis have been in refugee camps in Bangladesh.  The repatriation of 
these people is tied to Pakistan's various ethnic problems.  While the 
Mohajir community--descendents of Muslims who emigrated to present-day 
Pakistan from India during partition--supports repatriation, the Sindhi 
community opposes the move.  In 1993 the Government flew 342 Biharis to 
Pakistan and placed them in temporary housing in central Punjab.  No 
further repatriation occurred in 1995. 
 
Section 3   Respect for Political Rights:  The Right of Citizens to 
Change Their Government 
 
Citizens have the right and the ability to change their government 
peacefully.  With certain exceptions, citizens aged 21 and over have the 
right to vote.  However, several million bonded laborers and nomads may 
not vote because the National Election Commission has ruled that they do 
not "ordinarily reside in an electoral area, nor do they own or possess 
a dwelling or immovable property in that area."  Political parties have 
been allowed to operate freely since the full lifting of martial law in 
1988.  Unregistered political parties are permitted to participate in 
elections.  Members of the national and provincial assemblies are 
directly elected.  
 
The Constitution requires that the President and Prime Minister be 
Muslims.  Members of minority religious groups may not vote in Muslim 
constituencies; they cast their ballots for candidates running for 
special at-large seats reserved for them in the national and provincial 
assemblies.  Most Ahmadis, disputing their designation as non-Muslims, 
have refused to vote for such representatives.  Christians and Hindus 
note that this system marginalizes religious minorities by allowing the 
Muslim candidates to ignore them as a voting block.  As a result, areas 
where minorities predominate receive significantly less government 
development and assistance funds.  Local government officials are also 
directly elected.  However, local government bodies were dissolved in 
1993 and new elections have not been held.  In the meantime, provincial 
and federal officials are responsible for local government. 
 
The Government refused to present in the National Assembly four PML/N 
MNA'S, and in the Senate one PML/N Senator, who are detained on criminal 
charges.  The four MNA'S and the Senator were unable to participate in 
parliamentary debate, committee meetings, or otherwise carry out their 
duties as public representatives, although they remain full members of 
the National Assembly or Senate.  The Government did, by contrast,  
 
continue to present in the Senate 3 MQM/A Senators, and in the Sindh 
Provincial Assembly 11 MQM/A MPA's, despite their continued detention on 
criminal charges. 
 
The more than 2 million Pashtun people living in the FATA do not vote 
for their National Assembly representatives and have no representation 
in the assembly of the Northwest Frontier province.  In keeping with 
local traditions, FATA's National Assembly members are elected by tribal 
leaders, or maliks, who are appointed in the Governor's name by the 
central Government's political agents.  Many people living in this area 
have expressed dissatisfaction at having no vote.  However, the majority 
of Pashtun people live outside the FATA and, while retaining their 
tribal identity, are fully integrated into politics and society. 
 
Because of a longstanding territorial dispute with India, the political 
status of the Northern Areas--Hunza, Gilgit, and Baltistan--is not 
resolved.  As a result, more than 1 million inhabitants of the Northern 
Areas are not covered under any constitution and have no representation 
in the federal legislature.  The area is administered by an appointed 
civil servant.  While there is an elected Northern Areas Council, this 
body serves in an advisory capacity to the Federal Government and has no 
authority to change laws or raise and spend revenue. 
 
Although women participate in government, they are underrepresented in 
political life at all levels.  Only 4 women--including the current Prime 
Minister--hold seats in the 217-member National Assembly.  While women 
participate in large numbers in elections, some women are dissuaded from 
voting in elections by family, and religious and social customs in rural 
areas. 
 
Section 4   Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 
Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations of Human Rights 
 
There are several domestic human rights organizations, and new human 
rights and legal aid groups continue to form.  These groups are 
generally free to operate without government restriction.  The 
Government has provided protection to human rights lawyers defending 
accused blasphemers following threats and attacks on the lawyers by 
religious activists. 
 
International human rights organizations have been permitted to visit 
Pakistan and travel freely.  The Government has not always been 
responsive to foreign NGO's, however.   
 
The Government Human Rights Cell established branch offices in Karachi, 
Lahore, and Peshawar.  The Cell brought attention to the problem of 
spousal abuse by arranging visits by the Prime Minister to hospitalized 
abuse victims and began a television and radio campaign to educate the 
public on human rights issues.   
 
The Government established in November a new Ministry of Human Rights.  
However, by year's end, the Ministry had not found a centralized home 
and the Government had not yet staffed all of its positions. 
 
Section 5   Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, Disability, 
Language, or Social Status 
 
The Constitution guarantees equality before the law to all Pakistanis 
and broadly prohibits discrimination based on race, religion, caste, 
residence, or place of birth.  In practice, however, there is 
significant discrimination based on these factors.   
 
In July the Federal Government instituted a tribunal for the 
disadvantaged, headed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court and 
including two retired judges of the High Court and three citizens.  The 
tribunal, vested with the powers of a High Court, will make rulings on 
complaints of violation of the constitutional rights of women, children, 
and minorities.  The tribunal will also be authorized to undertake 
investigative action on its own initiative.   
 
   Women 
 
Domestic violence is a serious problem.  The Ministry of Women's 
Development estimates that 80 percent of women are victims of domestic 
violence.  The press continued to draw attention to deaths of married 
women in which they are killed by relatives in dowry or other family-
related disputes.  Most of the victims are burned to death, allegedly in 
kitchen stove accidents.  The police rarely visit the scene of the crime 
or conduct investigations to determine how the woman was burned.  An 
exception was the case of Iffat Iqbal, who died of severe burns to her 
entire body.  The magistrate ordered that her body be exhumed and called 
for a new investigation of her death, after he accused the police of 
gross negligence in the initial investigation.   
 
In another case, an 18-year-old girl died of burns which her family 
claimed she received while making tea.  An investigation by the 
Progressive Women's Association (PWA--an NGO that deals with domestic 
and social violence against women) found that she had been tied up by 
her brothers and doused with kerosene.  The brothers are in jail but had 
not been convicted as of year's end.  Approximately 92 burn cases had 
been reported at the Rawalpindi General Hospital during the year, 
according to the PWA.  There were no convictions in any burn cases in 
1995.  
 
Increased media coverage of cases of wife burnings, spousal abuse and 
murder, and rape cases has helped to raise awareness about violence 
against women.  Several human rights activists have commented that a few 
years ago it was considered taboo even to discuss the problem of rape, 
whereas now rape cases are reported frequently in local newspapers and 
magazines.  The Ministry of Women's Development ran a commercial on 
spousal abuse on the state-owned television network.  As part of her 
effort to highlight the problem of violence against women, the Prime 
Minister in June made a public hospital visit to a burn victim whose 
husband had thrown kerosene on her and then lit a match.  Her husband 
was arrested and the Government paid the victim's hospital expenses. 
 
While abusive spouses may be charged for assault, cases are rarely 
filed.  Police usually return battered wives to their abusive husbands.  
Women are reluctant to file charges because of societal roles that make 
women economically and psychologically dependent on their husbands and 
male relatives as well as the social stigma of divorce.  Relatives are 
also reluctant to report cases of abuse in order to protect the 
reputation of the family. 
 
Rape is a widespread problem.  However, it is estimated that less than 
one-third of all rapes are reported to the police.  In 1995 2,488 cases 
of rape were registered with the Punjab police.  Many more instances are 
believed to have occurred, but, because of societal and family pressure, 
were not reported.  Women also are reluctant to file rape charges 
because they then open themselves up to charges of adultery under the 
Hadood Ordinances.  Marital rape is not a crime, and the rape of another 
man's wife is a common method of revenge in rural and tribal areas. 
 
Traffickers in women bought or lured hundreds of women from Bangladesh 
with promises of a better life.  They transported the women across India 
and placed them with families as domestic servants or as prostitutes in 
brothels.  The authorities detained some of the women for prostitution 
under the Hadood Ordinances.  Few are able or willing to return to 
Bangladesh.  Many are released into the custody of their exploiters, who 
set them to work as prostitutes again.  Efforts to repatriate 
Bangladeshis in 1995 were mostly unsuccessful. 
 
There are an increasing number of reports of women killed or mutilated 
by male relatives who suspect them of adultery.  Few such cases are 
investigated seriously.  An article in the magazine Newsline alleged 
that hundreds of men and women from Baluchistan and rural areas of Sindh 
and Punjab provinces are killed annually for illicit sexual relations.  
While the tradition of such killing applies equally to offending men and 
women, women are more likely to be killed than men. 
 
There are significant barriers to the advancement of women, beginning at 
birth.  In general, female children are less valued and cared for than 
male children.  According to a United Nations study, girls receive less 
nourishment, health care, and education than boys.  According to the 
Government, only 23.5 percent of the females over 10 years old are 
literate, compared with 48.9 percent for males; the level of literacy 
among females is declining.  Only 12 percent of women use family 
planning methods.  As a result, the fertility rate is six children per 
woman.  In rural areas, women in small farm families generally work 
alongside men in the fields.  However, they remain subordinate to men 
and suffer discrimination in education, employment, and legal rights. 
 
Human rights monitors and women's groups feared that the Shari'a Law 
would have a harmful effect on the rights of women and minorities.  
However, the Law states that women's and minority rights protected under 
the Constitution would not be affected.  The Law's impact on these 
groups has been limited because the Government has not passed enabling 
legislation.  Nonetheless, the Law reinforces popular attitudes and 
perceptions, and contributes to an atmosphere in which discriminatory 
treatment of women and non-Muslims is more readily accepted. 
 
Some Islamic leaders continue to stress a conservative interpretation of 
Islamic injunctions to justify discrimination against women.  Many 
citizens interpret the Koran's injunctions on modesty to mean that women 
should remain either at home or veiled.  It remains accepted practice to 
assign women subordinate roles in the civil, political, and managerial 
hierarchies. 
 
Both civil and religious laws protect women's rights in cases of 
divorce, but, as in the case of inheritance laws, many women are unaware 
of them, and often the laws are not observed.  In inheritance cases 
women generally do not receive--or are pressed to surrender--their due 
share of the inheritance.  In rural areas, the practice of a woman 
"marrying the Koran" is still widely accepted if her family cannot 
arrange a suitable marriage or wants to keep the family wealth intact.  
A woman married to the Koran is forbidden to have any contact with males 
over 14 years of age, including her immediate family members.  The 
Government's Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) condemned the practice as 
un-Islamic, but the CII ruling is not legally binding.  Press reports 
indicate that the practice of buying and selling brides still takes 
place in parts of NWFP and the Punjab. 
 
In 1992 the Supreme Court invalidated the requirement that a husband 
must give written notice of a divorce to a local union council.  The 
husband's statement, with or without witnesses, is the defining legal 
step.  The woman, lacking written proof of divorce, remains legally and 
socially vulnerable.  Human rights organizations expressed concern that 
a woman could be charged with adultery if her former spouse were to deny 
having divorced her. 
 
There are also limits on the admissibility and value of women's 
testimony in court (see Section 1.e.). 
 
Although a small number of women study and teach in universities, 
postgraduate employment opportunities remain largely limited to 
teaching, medical services, and the law.  Nevertheless, an increasing 
number of women are entering the commercial and public sectors.  Karachi 
lawyers estimate that the number of female judges in civil courts there 
has increased to about 30 percent of the total.  There are reports that 
women who apply to professional colleges face discrimination.  Women may 
now participate in international athletic competition, although few do. 
 
Women's organizations operate primarily in urban centers.  Many 
concentrate on educating women about existing legal rights.  Other 
groups concentrate on providing legal aid to poor women in prison who 
may not be able to afford an attorney. 
 
According to an independent observer, the Government through 1995 had 
trained and deployed over 20,000 female rural health workers.  The 
Government hopes to train another 10,000 in 1996 with the goal of having 
a total of 100,000 by 1998.  The Government also produced television 
documentaries on women in development and family planning, and promoted 
population services in advertisements and by enlisting the support of 
religious leaders.  Pakistan hosted the first Muslim Women 
Parliamentarians' Conference in August. 
 
In August the Cabinet approved ratification with reservations of the 
Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women 
(CEDAW), declaring that the Constitution would not be bound by Paragraph 
1 of Article 29 and Paragraph 2 of Article 28. 
 
The Ministry of Women's Development worked closely with the NGO 
community in preparation for the 1995 Beijing Conference on Women.  
Several different NGO's focusing on women's issues contributed to 
Pakistan's Country Report on the Status of Women prepared for the 
conference.  The Prime Minster delivered a keynote address at the 
Beijing Conference emphasizing the importance for women of education, 
financial independence, and a strong family. 
 
   Children 
 
Legal rights for children are theoretically protected by numerous laws 
which incorporate elements of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the 
Child.  However, the Government frequently fails to enforce these laws.  
Federal law allows, but does not require, offenders under the age of 14 
to be placed in reform schools; however, no such facilities exist.  
There is only one jail in each province for convicted prisoners under 
age 21.  A 1994 United Nations report estimated that there are 250 
children under the age of 14 in prison at any time.  Although Punjab and 
Sindh provinces have laws mandating special judicial procedures for 
child offenders, in practice, children and adults are essentially 
treated equally.  Very young children accompany their convicted mothers 
to jail. 
 
There is no federal law on compulsory education, and neither the federal 
or provincial governments provide sufficient resources to assure 
universal education.  Government provision of health care is somewhat 
better--especially with the program deploying rural health workers--but 
health care services in most areas remain woefully inadequate.  Many 
children begin working at a very early age.  At the age of 5 or 6, 
female children are often responsible for younger siblings.  Children 
are sometimes kidnapped to be used as forced labor, for ransom, or to 
seek revenge against an enemy.  The HRCP reported an average of 400 
kidnappings of children per month in Punjab province alone in 1993.  The 
HRCP also reported that half of the 4,000 rapes that were registered in 
1993 were of minors or teenagers.  Child prostitution involving boys and 
girls is widely known to exist but is rarely discussed.  The Government 
does little to deter it. 
 
   People with Disabilities 
 
There are no laws requiring equal accessibility to public buildings for 
disabled persons.  However, the Human Rights Cell requested all city 
administrations to incorporate  facilities for the disabled--including 
wheelchair access ramps and elevators--in local building codes. 
 
   Religious Minorities 
 
Among religious minorities, there is a well-founded belief that the 
authorities afford them less legal protection than they afford Muslim 
citizens.  Members of religious minorities are subject to violence and 
harassment.  In April one Ahmadi was killed and another was injured by 
an angry crowd in a village north of Peshawar (see Section 2.c.).  
Ahmadis are often targets of violence, often instigated by local 
religious leaders.  Two Ahmadis charged under 298(c) were scheduled to 
receive confirmation of their bail applications in late January.  The 
court session was postponed because a large group of armed mullahs 
stormed the court premises.  The mullahs reportedly abducted and beat 
one of the Ahmadis.  The police refused to register a complaint against 
the mullahs over the beating.  Asma Jehangir, defense lawyer for the 
Masihs and others accused of blasphemy, was harassed by militant Muslim 
group members during the course of the Masih trial.  Her car was damaged 
outside the Lahore High Court and she received death threats.  In 
October her Lahore home was broken into by armed men who attempted to 
take members of her family hostage.  The assailants were driven off in a 
gun battle with security guards. 
 
Religious minority groups also experience considerable discrimination in 
employment and education; the laws facilitate discrimination in 
employment based on religion.  In Pakistan's early years, minorities 
were able to rise to the senior ranks of the military and civil service.  
Today, many are unable to rise above mid-level ranks.  Because of the 
lack of educational opportunities for some religious minority groups, 
discrimination in employment is believed to be increasingly prevalent.  
There are also restrictions on testimony in court by non-Muslims (see 
Section 1.e.). 
 
Christians in particular have difficulty finding jobs above those of 
menial labor.  Many Christians continue to express the fear of forced 
marriages between Muslim males and Christian women, although the 
practice is relatively rare.  Christians are among the least educated 
citizens.  According to one Christian rights activist, only 8 percent of 
Christian males and 6 percent of Christian females are literate. 
 
Ahmadis suffer from harassment and discrimination and have limited 
chances for advancement into management levels in government service.  
Even the rumor that someone may be an Ahmadi or have Ahmadi relatives 
can stifle opportunities for employment or promotion.  Young Ahmadis and 
their parents complain of increasing difficulty in gaining admittance to 
good colleges, forcing many children to go overseas for higher 
education. 
 
Section 6   Worker Rights 
 
   a.   The Right of Association 
 
The Industrial Relations Ordinance of 1969 (IRO) enunciates the right of 
industrial workers to form trade unions but is subject to major 
restrictions in some employment areas.  In practice, labor laws place 
significant constraints on the formation of industrial unions and their 
ability to function effectively.  For example, the law prohibits workers 
in export processing zones (EPZ's) from forming trade unions.  The 
Essential Services Maintenance Act of 1952 (ESA) covers sectors 
associated with "the administration of the State," i.e., government 
services and state enterprises, such as oil and gas production, 
electricity generation and transmission, the state-owned airline, and 
ports.  Workers in these sectors are allowed to form unions.  However, 
the ESA sharply restricts normal union activities, usually prohibiting, 
for example, the right to strike in affected organizations.  In response 
to international criticism, the Government took steps in 1995 to limit 
application of the ESA. 
 
Union members make up only about 13 percent of the industrial labor 
force and 10 percent of the total estimated work force. Contract labor 
continues to flourish, undercutting the power of the unions and 
exploiting workers willing to work on temporary contracts.  These 
workers receive fewer benefits and have no job security.  There is no 
provision in the law granting the right of association to agricultural 
workers. 
 
A celebrated case that remained unresolved in 1995 involved the 
protracted struggle to form a union by workers employed by Daewoo 
Corporation to build a highway between Lahore and Islamabad.  Following 
a court decision to allow the workers to register their union, the 
Punjab provincial government initially appealed this ruling in the 
provincial Labor Court, but dropped dropped its appeal against the 
workers in April.  However, Daewoo then lodged its own appeal, and the 
case remains in litigation.  Among other things, Daewoo objects to the 
fact that most of the proposed union's leaders are no longer Daewoo 
employees. 
 
Legally required conciliation proceedings and cooling-off periods 
constrain the right to strike, as does the Government's authority to ban 
any strike that may cause "serious hardship to the community" or 
prejudice to the national interest.  The Government may also ban a 
strike that has continued for 30 days. 
 
Strikes are rare.  When they occur, they are usually illegal and short.  
The Government regards as illegal any strike conducted by workers who 
are not members of a legally registered union.  Police do not hesitate 
to crack down on worker demonstrations.  The law prohibits employers 
from seeking retribution against leaders of a legal strike and 
stipulates criminal penalties for offenders.  The courts may imprison 
employers for violating this prohibition but they are more likely to 
fine them.  The law does not protect leaders of illegal strikes. 
 
Unions may belong to federations.  There are seven major federations 
which are free to affiliate with international federations and 
confederations.  The Government permits trade unions all across the 
political spectrum.  While many unions remain aloof from party politics, 
the most powerful are those associated with political parties.  After 
the PPP came to power in 1988, it successfully organized trade unions 
under the banner of the People's Labor Bureau (PLB).  The PLB's main 
competitors are the Jamaat-i-Islami's National Labor Federation and the 
MQM-backed labor unions. 
 
The International Labor Organization (ILO) has stated that current 
Pakistani law and practice violate the Government's commitments under 
ILO Convention 87.  The ILO has urged the Government to lift 
prohibitions against union activity in EPZ's and with respect to 
teachers, radio, television, railway, forestry, hospital, and other 
government employees, as well as to rescind the existing ban on strikes.  
The ILO also expressed concern about the practice of artificial 
promotions that exclude workers from the purview of the Industrial 
Relations Ordinance and stated that nonapplication of labor laws in 
proposed new "Special Industrial Zones" would be a violation of 
Convention 111.  In response to a government request, the ILO has 
provided technical assistance to help bring the country's labor laws 
into conformity with the world body's conventions.  
 
In 1994 a government task force on labor prepared a report recommending 
improvements on worker rights problems, but as of year's end the Cabinet 
had not approved its proposals. 
 
   b.   The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively 
 
The right of industrial workers to organize and freely elect 
representatives to act as collective bargaining agents is established in 
law.  The IRO prohibits antiunion discrimination by employers.  If found 
guilty of antiunion discrimination, employers are required to reinstate 
workers fired for union activities. 
 
In general, legally constituted unions have the right to bargain 
collectively.  However, the many restrictions on forming unions (see 
Section 6.a.) preclude collective bargaining by large sections of the 
labor force, e.g., agricultural workers, who are not guaranteed the 
right to strike, bargain collectively, or make demands on employers. 
 
The ESA also restricts collective bargaining.  For each industry subject 
to the ESA, the Government must make a finding, renewable every 6 
months, on the limits of union activity.  In cases in which the 
Government prohibits collective bargaining, special wage boards decide 
wage levels. 
 
These boards are established at the provincial level and are comprised 
of representatives from industry, labor, and the provincial labor 
ministry, which provides the chairman.  The chairman may name additional 
industry and labor representatives to the board.  Despite the presence 
of the labor representatives, unions are generally dissatisfied with the 
boards' findings.  Disputes are adjudicated before the National 
Industrial Relations Commission.  A worker's right to quit may also be 
curtailed under the ESA.  Dismissed workers have no recourse to the 
labor courts.  Most unions call for the abolition of the ESA. 
 
   c.   Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor 
 
The Constitution and the law prohibit forced labor.  However, critics 
argue that the ESA's limitation on some worker rights constitutes a form 
of compulsory labor.  The Government informed the ILO's Committee on the 
Application of Standards in 1990 that amendments were under 
consideration to rectify the problem.  However, the Government has taken 
no further action. 
 
Illegal bonded labor is widespread.  Bonded labor is common in the 
brick, glass, and fishing industries and is found among agricultural and 
construction workers in rural areas.  Conservative estimates put the 
figure of bonded workers at several million.   
 
The Bonded Labor System (Abolition) Act, adopted in 1992, outlawed 
bonded labor, canceled all existing bonded debts, and forbade lawsuits 
for the recovery of existing debts.  However, the provincial 
governments, which are responsible for enforcing the law, have failed to 
establish enforcement mechanisms.  Hence, the law is largely 
ineffective.  Lacking employment alternatives, many workers have 
voluntarily returned to bonded labor. 
 
In June escaped victims and HRCP activists disclosed that 35 families 
comprising more than 100 persons, including women and children, were 
being held in bondage by a landowner near Umerkot in southern Sindh.  
They said that some 22 years ago the landlord gave a loan of 500 rupees 
to each of the peasants which over the years accumulated to 50,000 to 
60,000 rupees each.  HRCP and the escaped peasants contended that the 
landlord exerted such control over local police that their investigation 
resulted in a report claiming that the peasants were happy.  Escaped 
peasants have taken refuge with the Bonded Labor Liberation Front and 
charged that their female relatives still in bondage were constantly 
being raped by the landlord, his sons, and their henchmen.  The landlord 
told HRCP that the escaped peasants owed him 500,000 rupees and that 
they were being held hostage by BLLF, which he claims asked for 200,000 
rupees to release them.  The landlord said that until the escapees are 
returned to him, he cannot release their families. 
 
In November 82 bonded workers were freed from 3 private prisons in Sindh 
where they were made to work harvesting sugar cane, some in chains.  One 
of the landlords charged in these cases was deputy superintendent of 
police in Sindh. 
 
 
   d.   Minimum Age for Employment of Children 
 
Child labor is common and results from a combination of severe poverty, 
employer greed, and inadequate enforcement of laws intended to control 
it.  The Government acknowledges that violations of existing laws are 
common but claims that the responsible provincial authorities are 
strengthening enforcement. 
 
A key factor is the absence of any federal law on compulsory primary 
education.  One provincial government, in Punjab, has passed such a law 
but, because of funding constraints, the law has not yet been 
implemented.  Among other things, the province would have to hire some 
40,000 new teachers to carry out this program. 
 
Unofficial estimates indicate that workers under 18 years old make up 
one-third of the total labor force.  While much child labor is in the 
traditional framework of family farming or small business, the 
employment of children in larger industries and, according to labor 
activists, in state-sponsored training programs, is also widespread.  
Child labor is widely employed in the carpet industry, much of which is 
family-run.  Children have also been employed in other export 
industries, such as textiles, leather tanning, surgical instruments, and 
sporting goods, though the extent is unclear. 
 
In June 1994, the Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with 
the ILO on cooperation toward elimination of child labor.  The two sides 
are conducting a nationwide survey to develop an accurate assessment of 
the scale of child labor.  The Government has also announced its 
intention to establish a pilot program of 35 rehabilitation centers for 
former child laborers and is seeking funding for this program. 
 
The April murder near Lahore of Iqbal Masih, a young activist of the 
BLLF, drew international attention.  The BLLF alleged that the murder 
had been engineered by carpet manufacturers, who reportedly blamed Masih 
for contributing to the industry's poor international image.  According 
to a preliminary investigation conducted by the authorities and the 
HRCP, however, the murder was unrelated to Masih's labor activism and 
did not involve carpet manufacturers.  The accused murderer, alleged 
eyewitnesses, the victim's family, and others involved have changed 
their stories about the case several times.  A federal tribunal headed 
by a High Court judge investigated the case and determined that the 
carpet industry "has no role or involvement" in the case.  The tribunal 
noted, however, that the alleged killer's retraction of his earlier 
confession created some complications necessitating further 
investigation. 
 
   e.   Acceptable Conditions of Work 
 
Labor regulations are governed by federal statutes applicable throughout 
the country.  The monthly minimum wage is approximately $44 (1,500 
rupees).  Although this wage provides a meager subsistence living for a 
small family, the minimum wage affects only a small part of the work 
force, and most families are large. 
 
The law, applicable nationally, provides for a maximum workweek of 54 
hours, rest periods during the workday, and paid annual holidays.  These 
regulations do not apply to agricultural workers, workers in factories 
with fewer than 10 employees, and to the small "contract groups," which 
are subdivisions within factories of 10 or fewer workers.  Many workers 
are unaware of the regulations protecting their rights because of their 
lack of education. 
 
The provinces have been ineffective in enforcing labor regulations, 
because of limited resources, corruption, and inadequate regulatory 
structures.  In general, health and safety standards are poor.  Although 
organized labor presses for improvements, the Government has done little 
and weakly enforces existing legal protections.  Workers cannot remove 
themselves from dangerous work conditions without risking loss of 
employment.   

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