Know Your Rights


Know your Rights

Under the Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto's government Constitution of Pakistan was passed by the National Assembly on April 10, 1973 and received the presidential approval on April 12, 1973. Today The Senate of Pakistan, in collaboration with the four provinces, is going to celebrate the Constitution Day but the dilemma is that people are unaware of the rights that have been gifted to them by Pakistani constitution. This is mainly due to lack of reading and research habit in our people.

We don't find time to read and study about our religion, our country, our society and most importantly about our rights. Constitution of 1973 comprises of 280 articles and seven schedules, since then we have amended our constitution 20 times. Today I want to recall some of the fundamental rights that have been awarded to you by the constitution of Pakistan. These are the very basic rights every Pakistani must know. 

 According to the article 19 every citizen shall have the right to freedom of speech and freedom of expression reasonable to any restrictions imposed by the law in the glory or integrity of islam or any part thereof.

Point to be noted is that where our constitution provides us liberty of speech it prohibits us as well from hate speech or making any offensive remarks that is against any sector that can sabotage peace in the society.

Slavery is forbidden and all forms of forced labour are prohibited under constitution of 1973. No person can be forced to work against his will and no children below 14 years of age can be engaged in any labour works.

But in Pakistan we see thousands of children begging on the roads or working as labourers in the workshops, food streets etc. Human Rights Commission of Pakistan estimated in 1990's that there are 11 million children living as child labourers and half of them were under the age of ten.

Every citizen of Pakistan not being in the service of Pakistan shall have right to from or be the member of a political party.

Definition by the book: Every citizen shall have the right to form associations or unions, subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interest of sovereignty or integrity of Pakistan, public order or morality. 

All citizens of Pakistan are equal before law and are entitled to equal protection of law. There is no discrimination on the basis of race, religion, caste and sex.

But in Pakistan we have divided into class system which is breaking all the values of our society. 

Every person who is arrested and detained in custody shall be produced before a Magistrate within a period of twenty four hours of his arrest. He has the rights to consult or be defended by a lawyer of his choice. 

 In the constitution of Pakistan from article 8 to article 28 there are fundamental rights of the citizens of Pakistan, these are 5 of them which I thought to be important but there are many other important rights you never know.

State is responsible for not providing these rights to citizens. How could we question an authority If we will unaware of our rights? Reading and sharing awareness about our rights is very important to become active and vibrant citizens. Through this article I request my readers to please know your rights.

Rukhshan Mir

Rukhshan Mir is a journalist currently working as current affairs program host for an online media group. He is pursuing a journalism degree from School of Media and Communication Studies, UCP.