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Court moved against FCR.
The Human rights commission south asia on Thursday challenged the Frontier Crimes Regulation before the Peshawar High Court, requesting that the residents of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas be given equal rights like other citizens of Pakistan.
A writ petition was filed by the Human Rights Commission, South Asia, through its Pakistan correspondent Syed Mohammad Iqbal Kazmi and NWFP/Fata correspondent Abdul Samad Khan Marwat. ( Advocate )
The petitioner prayed the court to issue directives to bring the FCR, 1901, in conformity with the Constitution. The court was prayed to order for bringing discriminatory provisions of the FCR under the umbrella of laws prevalent in the rest of the country.
It described the FCR as discriminatory, un-Islamic and against fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution of Pakistan as well as against the Charter of United Nations Human Rights. It stated that the residents of Fata were Pakistanis like other citizens under Article 1 of the Constitution and had got legal rights to be treated at par with other citizens.
They pointed out that fundamental human rights enshrined in Articles 4, 8, 9 and 25 of the Constitution were being denied to the residents of Fata who were equal citizens of the country. The government was misusing the FCR for the aggravated law and order situation in the country, they said, adding that its true evaluation would reveal it was subjugation of the fundamental rights of the Fata inhabitants. They said that various superior courts had declared FCR a discriminatory law.
stated that certain political administrations had detained hundreds of tribesmen
by misusing Section 21of the FCR. They said that several law commissions, set up
both on federal and provincial level, had also examined the regulation and
recommended its repeal.
“There are also several decisions by various superior courts which have declared FCR as ultra vires of the Constitution, a discriminatory law and a bad law in the country,” the petition noted.
There is a growing realisation, they said, that decades-old practice of using religion for political gains resulted in the rise of extreme religious and linguistic groups in the country, systematically leading to denial of fundamental rights.
They petitioners stated residents of Fata were forced to think if they were considered human beings by the Constitution or otherwise, whereas under Article 1 of the Constitution they had been defined as citizens of Pakistan.
They prayed the court that the residents of Fata be equated with normal citizens of Pakistan. Moreover, they requested the court that FCR introduced in 1901 be brought in conformity with the mainstream of the Constitution and the discriminatory provisions of the law should be brought under the umbrella of normal laws of justice prevailing in other parts of the country.
The petitioner stated that there was no court in the tribal region and political agents and assistant political agents were empowered to act as judges as well as executive officer, which meant that justice had not been extended there, which was inhuman and un-Islamic.
The respondents in the petition are: Federation of Pakistan through secretary for States and Frontier Regions Ministry, parliament through secretary for establishment, federal secretary for law and human rights, NWFP government through secretary for home and tribal affairs,
chairman of the Council of Islamic Ideology, and additional chief secretary of the Fata Secretariat. The petitioner claimed that several law commissions, set up both at the federation and provincial level, had also examined this law and recommended its repeal.
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