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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Ansar Burney (Singh): The Human Rights Minister for Indians

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Ansar Burney completed his tenure as the first ever caretaker minister of human rights. During his four months stint in the Ministry of Law, Burney worked hard tirelessly for providing a safe passage for suspected and convicted enemies of Pakistan while completely disregarding Pakistanis. He even went a step further by actively trying to dissuade Pakistanis from fighting for their own rights. As this article will show, Burney’s work would make any Indian proud of him and hence he will be referred more appropriately as Burney (Singh).

Burney (Singh)’s personal website boasts that he had refused repeated offers to become a minister or be part of a government citing time and conflict of interest issues. Finally he accepted an offer to become a minister when he thought the time was appropriate – when safeguards of fundamental human rights in Pakistan had been suspended. His oath did not require him to protect Pakistanis from human rights violations. Instead, he could focus on a higher, much nobler objective of releasing state enemies and shamelessly self promoting himself.

We, the people of Pakistan, as naive as we always have been, still thought we could go to Burney (Singh) for help and protection from state oppression. With fellow members of Islamabad Civil Society, I suggested contacting Burney (Singh), asking him for the release the heroes of Pakistan, particularly the Honorable Chief Justice. Older fellow members of the resistance movement against Musharraf’s martial law suggested that such moves would be futile: they argued that if Burney (Singh) really cared for the rights of Pakistanis, he would not have acquiesced to the unconstitutional Nov 3rd actions by becoming a part of the caretaker government.

Nonetheless, we called him. He responded in a half concerned tone, promising good news in a few days. According to him, the CJP was under “protective and preventive custody” and he would be allowed to leave his home very soon. He also promised us to do whatever possible for the swift release of all the political prisoners.

As it later transpired, Mr. Burney (Singh) was a step ahead and had already tried to mediate the release of some judges and lawyers. In his meeting with Aitzaz Ahsan, Burney (Singh) offered a proposal: release from the illegal incarceration if Mr. Ahsan would promise not to fight for the Pakistani people’s demand for the restoration of THE independent judiciary. Other detained lawyers and judges were offered the same terms. The Minster of Human Rights of Pakistan would release these innocent captives ONLY if they gave up their human rights in return!

Burney (Singh) did not stop for a moment to think about the immorality and shamelessness of his act. No where in the history of any country has a human rights minister asked the people under his protection to give up their rights. It is amazing how he can still proclaim to be a champion of human rights after these incidents. Is Burney (Singh) trying to make a fool out of his own self? Perhaps a dictionary and a job in India would have been a good farewell present for him.

Newspapers and independent televisions channels reported police brutality on protesters regularly since Nov 3rd. His own caretaker government was ordering baton charge and tear gas on protestors. Many were arrested and manhandled; some even joined the ‘missing in Pakistan’. Women and children were beaten, mistreated and harassed. Did Burney (Singh) take ONE notice of all of this?

After the lifting of the “state of emergency”, a version of the constitution replaced the PCO. Even this mutilated form of the constitution had basic provisions of human rights. However two days after the lifting of state of emergency, police thrashed members of Student Action Committee, many of them women and juvenile. This was covered in all local and major international newspapers. A letter was sent to Burney (Singh) urging him to take action against police brutality. Pictures of women and children being hammered by police batons were attached. A copy was also sent to Burney (Singh)’s private email incase he did not read the news or letters sent to him. He wasn’t even courteous enough to send a two-lined response to us.

In the following weeks protests heading towards the CJ’s house were always tear gassed and covered in the news. Burney (Singh) never took any notice of the police brutality or what the protesters were demanding. Instead he blatantly slandered the Honorable Chief Justice of Pakistan claiming that Iftikhar Chaudry had illegally occupied the house and there were no bars on his movement! This barefaced perjury is voluble of Burney (Singh)’s credibility.

So what did Burney (Singh) do during his four months as caretaker minister? Surely it must get boring having nothing to do. He continued with his earlier work of trying to arrange for release of Indian prisoners lurking in Pakistani jails. His biggest efforts towards shameless self-promotion were the months and state resources spent trying to locate an item for quick promotion. He soon got it in the form of Kashmir Singh and the media monotone on him the next few days. The hero’s departure given to a former spy who was engaged in anti-Pakistan activities was quite disturbing. Kashmir Singh was first of the many enemies of Pakistan Burney (Singh) is working diligently for. For instance, Burney (Singh) is now involved in preventing the execution of Sarabjit Singh. Sarabjit confessed his involvement in bomb blasts in Pakistan before the Supreme Court in 2005.

The above works of Burney (Singh) would make Shiv Sina proud. One tends to wonder on whose agenda Burney (Singh) and his trust work?

Samad Khurram is a student of Government in Harvard University. He is a columnist for the Harvard Crimson, is also an active member of the Student Action Committee.

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Samad Khurramhttp://www.pak-times.com
Samad Khurram is student of Government and Economics at Harvard University. He writes regularly on politics and international affairs in his column “Escaping Quicksand” for the Harvard Crimson. Samad is an active member and confidant of many pro-judiciary forces, groups, publications and also runs the Emergency Times Mailing List.
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4 COMMENTS

  1. I think you unaware about the great and historical human rights work of Mr. Ansar Burney. He have a great respect and love in the hearts of those who belives in humanity and human rights like an Angel of God or ‘Saint’.
    You became angry because he got release an Indian and non-muslim? sorry is this your religion teaches you? what about hundred thousand Pakistanis to whom he released in the last thirty years.
    your such thinking against a person who is ‘HERO’ could give a bad name to you, your country and religion.

  2. Mr. Ansar Burney is a name that has given a great respect to Pakistan and those Pakistanis who living abroad in Foreign Countries knows it very well.

    Ansar Burney is become a recognition of Pakistan in the field of Pakistan. In foreign Countries we are proud on Mr Ansar Burney and in foreign we always say proudly that we have Ansar Burney in Pakistan who is become a symbol of human rights.

    We have few people only in Pakistan and Mr ansar Burney is one of them. Please do respect of such people who are Saint on earth of Pakistan.

  3. Samad are You Mad!!!!I am sorry but it is really bogus….how can u disrespect a great human like him!!! I wonder….he is the person i know personally…..he fights for humanity to save humanity………i would not start the controversy of Sarabjit or Kasmir Singh……or under what circumstances they have given there confession….Also i am not the right person to comment on Pakistani Judicial system.
    I totally agree with Hussain Sahab and David.Don’t u remember what he had done? What goodies he had contributed? He had done something so he is so much respected worldwide. Every Humanitarians like me respect him by heart and proud to have friend like him. I bet, very very few people like u will disrespect him.
    Also, what fool are you trying to make us by saying Mr. Burney(Singh)????

    Sorry friend if was little rude…but since we are humanists..we can’t tolerate such statements against a true fellow humanist.Respect Human and love every one…that’s what Islam teaches us….right?See below….
    I= I
    S= SHALL
    L= LOVE
    A= ALL
    M= MANKIND
    I SHALL LOVE ALL MANKIND (ISLAM).

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