Legislative framework sought against use of torture

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ISLAMABAD: Speakers at a national consultation on implementation of the ‘UN Convention Against Torture’ have called for a comprehensive legislative framework against the use of torture.

The event was organised by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) in collaboration with the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) here on Friday. It was attended, among others, by members of civil society and parliament, police and prison officials from different parts of the country and women activists.

The daylong debate arrived at the conclusion that the state and society are equally responsible for the increasing incidents of torture in the country.

Speaking on the occasion, former senator and leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Farhatullah Babar said that lack of political will was the main cause that the country still did not have an anti-torture legislation which could end endemic torture in police stations, lock-ups and internment centres.

He said Pakistan had signed the UN Convention Against Torture in 2008 and ratified it in 2010 which had made it obligatory for the country to make domestic legislation in this regard. But the legislation had not yet been made despite unanimous adoption of a private member bill in March 2015 that was endorsed by the Ministry of Interior, all political parties and provinces.

HRCP holds national consultation on implementation of ‘UN Convention Against Torture’

He said the present government had promised to immediately introduce the anti-torture legislation, but it had failed to do so. Every time the matter was raised in the human rights committees of the Senate and the National Assembly, the standard response of the government was that the draft bill was under consideration and would be presented before the cabinet at its next meeting, he said, adding that next meeting had not yet come.

He said the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government recently promulgated a law to set up internment centres not only in the erstwhile tribal areas, but also throughout the province. The move had been challenged in the Supreme Court and it had been fixed for hearing on Wednesday next week, he said.

Mr Babar said that it appeared that the stumbling block were security agencies that did not want to be held accountable for torture and custodial death under their watch.

The national consultation was also addressed by Senator Sherry Rehman of the PPP and HRCP spokesperson I.A. Rehman.

Senator Rehman dilated upon her anti-torture bill recently submitted to the Senate Secretariat.

Mr Rehman talked about the role of civil society in advancing progressive legislation.

Instrument of coercion

HRCP spokesperson Rehman later told a news conference that the state used torture as instrument of coercion and this is proved by the fact that the adoption of anti-torture legislation has been delayed and not yet adopted.

He said speakers at Friday’s meeting had urged the government to heed recommendations made by the Committee on Torture in 2017.

Pakistan has to submit its annual report to the Committee on Torture in 2021.

“We have also taken notice of torture used by non-state actors as it was pointed out by the committee. The state has the responsibility to take notice of the incidents of torture and take action against elements behind them,” he said.

The HRCP spokesperson said the meeting had agreed to form a working group on torture to work on the issue, and it would meet as frequently as required.

The proposed working group will critically examine the proposed legislation being brought by the government and lobby with legislators and cross section of civil society to enact the anti-torture legislation.

Published in Dawn, November 9th, 2019

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Original Text

NEW DELHI: President Ram Nath Kovind’s flight from Zurich to Slovenia was delayed on Sunday after the Air India Boeing 747 that was to fly as AI One developed a snag. According to sources, the president drove to Zurich airport where a last-minute glitch on the 26-year-old jumbo jet (VT-ESO) was suspected. The VVIP returned to his hotel and AI aircraft engineers immediately started working on the aircraft "Khajuraho".During this time, an AI Boeing 777 that was to operate on London-Mumbai sector with a schedule departure time of 1.15 pm (local time London) as flight 130 was kept on standby at Heathrow as alternate AI One to be flown to Zurich for the President’s journeys if needed.Luckily AI engineers rectified the jumbo jet which then flew President Kovind to Slovenia with a delay of a few hours. And AI 130 flew to Mumbai at 2.30 pm (local time London) from Heathrow without requiring to fly as alternate AI One to Zurich, say sources.Keeping an Air India aircraft at a foreign base nearest from where AI One has to operate as standby is a regular practice. This overseas trip of President Kovind first made news when Pakistan on September 7 denied permission for it to fly over its airspace from India to Europe and back.The B747 took a longer route to Europe when it left last Monday (Sept 9) and will take the longer route back home too. Now India is not going to seek clearance for VVIP flights to use Pakistan airspace till relations between he two countries improve.AI has been using over 25-year-old B747s as Air India One for long haul VVIP flights. They are used for commercial flights when not needed for VVIP flights and are retrofitted for them when required. Converting a passenger B747 into a VVIP aircraft takes about 12 days.By the end of this year or early next year, India will get dedicated state-of-the-art long haul aircraft when first of the two Boeing 777s currently being retrofitted in the US with the most most advanced security gizmos, including missile warning and counter-measure dispensing systems, for the president, VP and PM will join the VVIP fleet. While the first is expected in December, the second one may arrive a month later, say sources.Given their ultra hi-tech security and communications systems — at par with Air Force One — they cannot be used for regular flights. The over 26-year-old Boeing 747s are perfectly safe to fly but due to their advanced age, they are fuel guzzlers. The four-engine jumbo jets cannot fly longhaul routes like India-US nonstop and do so with a stop in Europe, something the twin-engine B777 has been doing for AI for years

NEW DELHI: President Ram Nath Kovind’s flight from Zurich to Slovenia was delayed on Sunday after the Air India Boeing 747 that was to fly as AI One developed a snag. According to sources, the president drove to Zurich airport where a last-minute glitch on the 26-year-old jumbo jet (VT-ESO) was suspected. Now India is not going to seek clearance for VVIP flights to use Pakistan airspace till relations between he two countries improve.AI has been using over 25-year-old B747s as Air India One for long haul VVIP flights. They are used for commercial flights when not needed for VVIP flights and are retrofitted for them when required. The over 26-year-old Boeing 747s are perfectly safe to fly but due to their advanced age, they are fuel guzzlers.

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Original Text

NEW DELHI: President Ram Nath Kovind’s flight from Zurich to Slovenia was delayed on Sunday after the Air India Boeing 747 that was to fly as AI One developed a snag. According to sources, the president drove to Zurich airport where a last-minute glitch on the 26-year-old jumbo jet (VT-ESO) was suspected. The VVIP returned to his hotel and AI aircraft engineers immediately started working on the aircraft "Khajuraho".During this time, an AI Boeing 777 that was to operate on London-Mumbai sector with a schedule departure time of 1.15 pm (local time London) as flight 130 was kept on standby at Heathrow as alternate AI One to be flown to Zurich for the President’s journeys if needed.Luckily AI engineers rectified the jumbo jet which then flew President Kovind to Slovenia with a delay of a few hours. And AI 130 flew to Mumbai at 2.30 pm (local time London) from Heathrow without requiring to fly as alternate AI One to Zurich, say sources.Keeping an Air India aircraft at a foreign base nearest from where AI One has to operate as standby is a regular practice. This overseas trip of President Kovind first made news when Pakistan on September 7 denied permission for it to fly over its airspace from India to Europe and back.The B747 took a longer route to Europe when it left last Monday (Sept 9) and will take the longer route back home too. Now India is not going to seek clearance for VVIP flights to use Pakistan airspace till relations between he two countries improve.AI has been using over 25-year-old B747s as Air India One for long haul VVIP flights. They are used for commercial flights when not needed for VVIP flights and are retrofitted for them when required. Converting a passenger B747 into a VVIP aircraft takes about 12 days.By the end of this year or early next year, India will get dedicated state-of-the-art long haul aircraft when first of the two Boeing 777s currently being retrofitted in the US with the most most advanced security gizmos, including missile warning and counter-measure dispensing systems, for the president, VP and PM will join the VVIP fleet. While the first is expected in December, the second one may arrive a month later, say sources.Given their ultra hi-tech security and communications systems — at par with Air Force One — they cannot be used for regular flights. The over 26-year-old Boeing 747s are perfectly safe to fly but due to their advanced age, they are fuel guzzlers. The four-engine jumbo jets cannot fly longhaul routes like India-US nonstop and do so with a stop in Europe, something the twin-engine B777 has been doing for AI for years

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Output

NEW DELHI: President Ram Nath Kovind’s flight from Zurich to Slovenia was delayed on Sunday after the Air India Boeing 747 that was to fly as AI One developed a snag.According to sources, the president drove to Zurich airport where a last-minute glitch on the 26-year-old jumbo jet (VT-ESO) was suspected.The VVIP returned to his hotel and AI aircraft engineers immediately started working on the aircraft "Khajuraho".During this time, an AI Boeing 777 that was to operate on London-Mumbai sector with a schedule departure time of 1.15 pm (local time London) as flight 130 was kept on standby at Heathrow as alternate AI One to be flown to Zurich for the President’s journeys if needed.Luckily AI engineers rectified the jumbo jet which then flew President Kovind to Slovenia with a delay of a few hours.And AI 130 flew to Mumbai at 2.30 pm (local time London) from Heathrow without requiring to fly as alternate AI One to Zurich, say sources.Keeping an Air India aircraft at a foreign base nearest from where AI One has to operate as standby is a regular practice.This overseas trip of President Kovind first made news when Pakistan on September 7 denied permission for it to fly over its airspace from India to Europe and back.The B747 took a longer route to Europe when it left last Monday (Sept 9) and will take the longer route back home too.Now India is not going to seek clearance for VVIP flights to use Pakistan airspace till relations between he two countries improve.AI has been using over 25-year-old B747s as Air India One for long haul VVIP flights.They are used for commercial flights when not needed for VVIP flights and are retrofitted for them when required.Converting a passenger B747 into a VVIP aircraft takes about 12 days.By the end of this year or early next year, India will get dedicated state-of-the-art long haul aircraft when first of the two Boeing 777s currently being retrofitted in the US with the most most advanced security gizmos, including missile warning and counter-measure dispensing systems, for the president, VP and PM will join the VVIP fleet.While the first is expected in December, the second one may arrive a month later, say sources.Given their ultra hi-tech security and communications systems — at par with Air Force One — they cannot be used for regular flights.The over 26-year-old Boeing 747s are perfectly safe to fly but due to their advanced age, they are fuel guzzlers.The four-engine jumbo jets cannot fly longhaul routes like India-US nonstop and do so with a stop in Europe, something the twin-engine B777 has been doing for AI for years

Save As:

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Original Text

NEW DELHI: President Ram Nath Kovind’s flight from Zurich to Slovenia was delayed on Sunday after the Air India Boeing 747 that was to fly as AI One developed a snag. According to sources, the president drove to Zurich airport where a last-minute glitch on the 26-year-old jumbo jet (VT-ESO) was suspected. The VVIP returned to his hotel and AI aircraft engineers immediately started working on the aircraft "Khajuraho".During this time, an AI Boeing 777 that was to operate on London-Mumbai sector with a schedule departure time of 1.15 pm (local time London) as flight 130 was kept on standby at Heathrow as alternate AI One to be flown to Zurich for the President’s journeys if needed.Luckily AI engineers rectified the jumbo jet which then flew President Kovind to Slovenia with a delay of a few hours. And AI 130 flew to Mumbai at 2.30 pm (local time London) from Heathrow without requiring to fly as alternate AI One to Zurich, say sources.Keeping an Air India aircraft at a foreign base nearest from where AI One has to operate as standby is a regular practice. This overseas trip of President Kovind first made news when Pakistan on September 7 denied permission for it to fly over its airspace from India to Europe and back.The B747 took a longer route to Europe when it left last Monday (Sept 9) and will take the longer route back home too. Now India is not going to seek clearance for VVIP flights to use Pakistan airspace till relations between he two countries improve.AI has been using over 25-year-old B747s as Air India One for long haul VVIP flights. They are used for commercial flights when not needed for VVIP flights and are retrofitted for them when required. Converting a passenger B747 into a VVIP aircraft takes about 12 days.By the end of this year or early next year, India will get dedicated state-of-the-art long haul aircraft when first of the two Boeing 777s currently being retrofitted in the US with the most most advanced security gizmos, including missile warning and counter-measure dispensing systems, for the president, VP and PM will join the VVIP fleet. While the first is expected in December, the second one may arrive a month later, say sources.Given their ultra hi-tech security and communications systems — at par with Air Force One — they cannot be used for regular flights. The over 26-year-old Boeing 747s are perfectly safe to fly but due to their advanced age, they are fuel guzzlers. The four-engine jumbo jets cannot fly longhaul routes like India-US nonstop and do so with a stop in Europe, something the twin-engine B777 has been doing for AI for years

Output

NEW DELHI: An inter-ministerial panel on fintech has suggested legislative changes be made to enable fixed deposits (FDs) and other financial instruments to be issued in dematerialised form as it is customer-friendly and secure.The Steering Committee headed by the economic affairs secretary also suggested that the department of financial services (DFS) and Reserve Bank of India may examine the suitability of virtual banking system in the Indian context.The panel, which submitted its report to finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday, said dematerialisation of financial instruments is customer-friendly given the wide reach of mobile technologies and also leads to disaster resilience and speedy recovery. the report said.Necessary suitable amendments to enable dematerialisation of financial instruments such as FDs and other deposits of the Post Offices, other forms of small savings certificates issued, Gold Deposit Certificates issued under GMS, Sovereign Gold Bonds, etc.may be undertaken, it said.Pending changes in laws and regulations that may be required to enable depositories to store all financial assets, the information pertaining to the assets may be stored in repositories so that consumers can access this information through a single window, it said.With regard to virtual banking, it said the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has recently issued guidelines for setting up virtual banks and is examining applications for virtual banking licences.The Committee recommends a thorough review of the PPI system with a view of considerably liberalising its use with adequate non-monetary limits safeguards to enable expansion of fintech, it said.It noted that there is an urgent need to reduce the costs of KYC to promote financial inclusion among the weaker sections.

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