UN Authority Figures

UN General Assembly Sixth Committee (Legal), Vice-Chair: Pakistan

A powerful Pakistani religious body that advises the government on the compatibility of laws with Islam declared a new law that criminalizes violence against women to be "un-Islamic." The council's decision in January 2016 to block a bill to impose harsher penalties for marrying off girls as young as eight or nine has angered human rights activists.
Source: Yahoo News‎, March 3, 2016

Mission of UN General Assembly Sixth Committee (Legal): "The Sixth Committee is the primary forum for the consideration of legal questions in the General Assembly." (General Assembly - Legal Committee website, "Sixth Committee")

Term of office: 2016-2017

Pakistan's Record on legal questions:
"The most serious human rights problems were ... lack of rule of law (including lack of due process, poor implementation and enforcement of laws, and frequent mob violence and vigilante justice)... Government practices and certain laws limited freedom of religion, particularly for religious minorities... Violence, abuse, and social and religious intolerance by militant organizations and other nongovernmental actors contributed to a culture of lawlessness in some parts of the country... There were numerous reports that authorities committed arbitrary or unlawful killings. Security forces reportedly committed extrajudicial killings... In many cases authorities held prisoners incommunicado, denying them prompt access to a lawyer of their choice... The law provides for an independent judiciary, but the judiciary often was subjected to external influences, such as fear of reprisal from extremist elements in terrorism or blasphemy cases... Many lower courts remained corrupt, inefficient, and subject to pressure from wealthy persons and influential religious and/or political figures. There were instances in which unknown persons threatened and/or killed witnesses, prosecutors, or investigating police officers in high-level cases... Informal justice systems lacking institutionalized legal protections continued, especially in rural areas, and often resulted in human rights abuses... The Federal Shariat Court (FSC) typically reviewed cases under the Hudood Ordinance--a law enacted in 1979 by military leader Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq to implement a strict interpretation of Islamic law by enforcing punishments for extramarital sex, false accusations of extramarital sex, theft, and drinking alcohol... Courts routinely failed to protect the rights of religious minorities. Courts used laws prohibiting blasphemy discriminatorily against Shi'a, Christians, Ahmadis, and members of other religious minority groups. Lower courts often did not require adequate evidence in blasphemy cases, and some accused and convicted persons spent years in jail before higher courts eventually overturned their convictions or ordered them freed..." (US State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2015, Pakistan)