In the Name of National Security

Jun 26th, 2013 | By | Category: Latest, Social

STOP! Hands up! Halt! Pass through the full body scanner, motor bikes, pillion riding and cellular services are banned. Do not dare take your mobile phone, camera, or any other electronic device for the matter, inside the building/office and hand it over to the guard (don’t forget; they have no liability in case of damage or loss of your belongings). All this while a caution in contonment areas of KPK reads: Qareeb aanay walon ko goli maar di jaaee gee (anyone to come closer will be shot).

After 9/11, there has been a curb in human rights in most states. In the name of national security, states are violating basic human rights. To legitimize their violations and illegal restrictions, states conjure up ridiculously strict and draconian laws like the ‘Prevention of terrorism Act’ 2002 POTA India and ‘Anti terrorism Act’ 1997 ATA Pakistan.

The issue of missing persons, unlawful detention, violation of personal and privacy matters, such as the government  introducing a “Fair trial act 2012”, by which phone and email records of given individuals can be reproduced as an admissible evidence before Court. Moreover, Police would be authorized for spying and inspecting the personal phone records of any individual without prior permission of the Court. Harassment by the law enforcement agencies, extra-judicial killings, restrictions on individual liberties, such as the restrictions and bans on necessities of life like mobile phones and motor bikes,  as well as others,  have become the commonest of human rights violations by the State.

Our law enforcement agencies fail to provide security, and they also fail to hide their failure when they get hold of innocent people in the name of Karwai (investigation), in the meantime, spying, disrespecting and harassing to maintain “national security”. The actual culprit on the other hand, bails out and takes the benefit of doubt in courts with the help of insufficient evidence, loopholes in existing laws and incomplete challan produced by police for their crime.

This abuse of power by law enforcement agencies terrorizing the whole society and creating a war-like situation throughout the country, as well as these harsh security measures creating an unsecured and fear-prone environment in the country, is why citizens cannot freely enjoy their rights, freedoms and liberties in our society which has been explicitly given to them in our constitution.

These law enforcement agencies consider themselves above the law and no one dares to ask them about their actions. They look and treat every noble citizen as a criminal and enemy to the state. They inspect in a disrespectful manner and ask stupid questions. They lack basic mannerisms and fail to understand how decent individuals are to be spoken to. A lot of innocent people lose their lives in illegal custody and many are inflicted with fatal damages and injuries that haunt them for the whole lives as a gift of “National Security”. According to Code of Criminal Procedure CrPC,  a person arrested is not be detained for more than 24 hours without being presenting before the Court. Yet, many are never even presented before any court of law.

Now it is the responsibility of the UN, nation-states, political parties and all human rights NGOs to make sure the authority of law is established, and set some rules to prevent the abuse of power by law enforcement agencies. Moreover, security measures adopted by these authorities should be for the protection of citizens, not to terrorize or humiliate them; it should also be friendly, and handled in a decent and civilized manner.

This is the time to find out the root cause behind the crime and terrorism. It is also the time to stop throwing away the basic principles of civilized order in the name of ‘national security’.

Abdullah Faizee

About the author

Abdullah Faizee is a student of International Law, with a research interest in Human Rights, at the International Islamic University, Islamabad.

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