US legislators express worry about Pakistan’s human rights situation as the government there continues its campaign against the vandals responsible for the chaos on May 9.
Senator Bob Menendez, chair of the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, one of the nation’s most powerful lawmakers, is also among those who have expressed concern over the nation’s detention and trial of the May 9 assailants as it struggles with a serious political crisis.
Concerns have been raised by the senator regarding the treatment of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) members, leaders, and sympathizers following their detention in the wake of the vandalism on May 9.
In a conversation with Pakistani-American physician Asif Mahmood, a Democratic candidate for Congress, Senator Menendez stated that the US wants stability rather than unrest.
The senator declared that he will continue to fight for the upholding of human rights in Pakistan because he is gravely concerned about innocent Pakistani-Americans held there.
Dr. Mahmood informed Senator Menendez that Pakistan is experiencing a democratic and human rights crisis during this meeting in California. He also asked that the US get involved.
The senator was heard saying: “We look for stability, not turmoil. And that means respecting human rights and the rule of law.”
PTI officials in the US met with other senators in the meantime. Sajjad Burki and Atif Khan, two of the party’s US leaders, met with John Cornyn in Dallas, Texas.
According to their claims, the senator promised to bring up the situation in the US Senate, that a measure would be enacted with support from both Republicans and Democrats, and that the US State Department would also be made aware of the problem.
The leader of the Pakistani caucus in the US House of Representatives, Sheila Jackson, has also voiced alarm on news coming out of Pakistan. The senator expressed her concern over the lack of security provided for nonviolent demonstrators.
“As the founder and chair of the U.S. House’s Congressional Pakistan caucus, I am extremely concerned about the reports that are coming out of Pakistan of human rights abuses and the lack of protection for those who express peaceful opposition to the government.”
She further said, “I am particularly concerned that the former head of state has been arrested multiple times and there appear to be no provisions for a just response to this apparent unfairness and to those who should have rights to a free, safe, and unfettered protest.”
“I will be writing to President Biden and Secretary of State Blinken to ask them to insist on the ending of these human rights violations against the opposition and others,” she continued.
The statements from Senator Menendez, Senator Cornyn, and Congresswoman Jackson come as plans are being made for a conference on the human rights situation in Pakistan to be held on Capitol Hill next month. The conference is scheduled to take place in the third week of June.