More than 4,600 Pakistanis lost their lives in violent incidents in 2015 despite a 40 per cent drop in overall violence in the country. This is less than half of the 7,622 deaths recorded due to similar reasons in 2014, according to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan’s (HRCP) report for 2015.
Issued on Friday, the HRCP report titled ‘State of Human Rights in 2015’ said anti-state violence in Pakistan dropped below the 2008 levels, as 706 militant attacks took place, in which 1,325 people, including 619 civilians, 348 security forces personnel, 325 militants and 33 pro-government razakars, were killed.
There were 31 per cent fewer suicide attacks as compared to 2014. During the year, 18 suicide attacks were reported. Some 41 terrorist attacks occurred in 25 districts of the country in 2015. These attacks which targeted political leaders and workers claimed 57 lives and injured 75 others.
In 2014, the number of terrorist attacks stood at 56.
Pakistan emerged as one of the most dangerous places for journalists in 2015 as four journalists were killed and media workers were attacked with impunity during the year. At least 15 attacks were carried out against journalists and human rights defenders.
Some 58 incidents of sectarian violence were reported from across Pakistan; however, no sectarian clash was reported. Hundreds of people lost their lives and many more were injured in faith-based attacks against religious and sectarian minorities.
Some 2,108 men and seven women were killed in police encounters across the country.
Punjab reported 3, 82,932 cases of crime in 2015. In 2014 the number of crime cases stood at 3,89,554. Sindh recorded a 42 per cent reduction in the number of murders as compared to previous year. Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan witnessed a 10 and one per cent surge respectively in total crime in 2015 as compared to 2014.
The HRCP said 939 women became victims of sexual violence, 279 of domestic violence. Despite the volume of cases, the rate of prosecution remained fairly low.
Around 777 women committed or tried to commit suicide. The HRCP reported 987 cases of honour crimes.
Some 3,768 child abuse cases occurred during this year. This figure indicates a 7% increase leading to an average of 10 cases a day. Out of the total number, 1,974 victims were girls and 1,794 boys. Most of the victims fell in the age group of 11-14 years.
The HRCP report said that there are approximately 10 million child workers in Pakistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 2nd, 2016.