ACHR urges Pak Govt to lift ban on its report

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New Delhi, Apr 9 (UNI) The Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) today urged Pakistan Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani to lift the ban on its August 8 report on racial discrimination in the country.

The UN Committee Against Racial Discrimination had planned to consider implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination by the Pakistan government without Pakistan's 15th to 19th periodic in its 71st session held from July 30 to August 17, 2007.

ACHR, following the standard procedure of the UN Treaty bodies, submitted the shadow report--''Pakistan: The Land of Religious Apartheid and Jackboot Justice: A report to the UN Committee Against Racial Discrimination''.

On January 25, 2008, it learnt that the Secretary to the Home Department of the Provincial Government of Punjab banned ACHR's report on the ground that it is ''highly charged and biased'' and falsely accused National Commission for Justice and Peace of distributing the report in Pakistan.

Anyone found guilty these charges can be punished with life imprisonment.

''We urge the newly elected democratic government of Pakistan to cooperate with the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and submit the periodic reports as promised,'' ACHR Director Suhas Chakma said.

''Rather than banning the report, the government of Pakistan should addressthe issues raised in the report or highlight any factually inaccurate information or analysis that ACHR will be happy to provide the necessary clarifications,'' he added.

UNI NR SR RN2037

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