We take note of the reports of Special Rapporteur on Torture and Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders which reaffirm priorities of their respective mandates.
We concur with the Special Rapporteur that torture in all its forms and manifestations violates human rights and fundamental freedoms and negates the principle of human dignity. Protection from torture is part of the Human Rights guarantees provided in our Constitution. Pakistan ratified CAT in 2010. Our report on the implementation of the CAT would be considered by the Committee against Torture in April this year and we look forward to a constructive dialogue.
Under the existing Criminal Procedure Code and Pakistan Penal Code, public servants, under no circumstances, can engage in any act of torture. The law does not permit any exceptions or prohibitions. The Police Order of 2002 imposes penalties, including fines or imprisonment for up to five years on police officers who resort to torture. It also provides equal safeguards to prisoners and detainees in the police custody. Our Supreme Court has given a number of judgments in favour of victims of torture and perpetrators had been awarded punishment. The Human Rights Cell of Supreme Court is also providing legal aid and redress to victims.
Pakistan has an illustrious history and tradition of being blessed with individuals who have made exemplary contributions to the promotion and protection of human rights. The Government considers these human rights activists as partners for promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Whenever, human rights activists face challenges our Government puts in place special security measures and creates appropriate judicial and investigative mechanisms to facilitate their work in an enabling environment.
In conclusion, we would like to reaffirm that the Government of Pakistan fully acknowledges and appreciates the valuable contributions of our human rights defenders from Late Abdul Sattar Edhi to Malala Yousafzai.
I thank you.