CIVICUS Letter to the President of Pakistan
President Asif Ali Zardari
President of Pakistan
16 January 2013
Dear President Zardari,
Re: Protection of Civil Society Members and Respect for their Rights
I write to you from CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, an international alliance of civil society with members and partners in over a hundred countries. CIVICUS supports citizens’ rights and democratic freedoms across the globe, including the freedoms of expression, association and assembly.
Amidst the worsening violence in Pakistan over the last 6 weeks, CIVICUS has become increasingly concerned by the spate of murders targeting male and female NGO workers and campaigners simply for performing their professional responsibilities. In the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in December 2012, the shooting of six female workers and one male NGO worker, in addition to the targeted killings of nine polio health care workers, 5 of which were female, have horrified the international community and civil society around the world. Moreover in January this year, the offices of an NGO were bombed and two further aid workers reported killed in separate incidents in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, while a 71 year old charity worker was shot in Lahore.