ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Human Rights on Monday urged the government to take the relevant committees into confidence before signing International Treaties on Human Rights. The committee met on Monday under the chairmanship of Babar Nawaz Khan. Asim Iftikhar, director general – Foreign Office (United Nations) – briefed the committee on International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). He said Pakistan had signed it in 2008 and ratified in June 2010. Pakistan has submitted initial report to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in October 2015 in this regard. In November 2016, the UN committee sought some clarifications and observations which will be responded before February 20. Human Rights Ministry Director General Hassan Mangi said the ministry has sent the UN observations to federal and provincial government departments. The ministry had written letters and reminders to the interior and narcotics control ministries and the provincial governments, but so far they have not responded. The committee directed that all the offices concerned should response properly, so that, the report must be submitted within stipulated period of time. National Commission on Human Rights (NCHR) Chairman Justice (r) Ali Nawaz Chohan told the committee that the Human Rights Ministry does not report to NCHR. Mangi said that NCHR could only submit its report to the government. The committee flayed the Foreign Office for its failure to win a seat in UNHRC in 2015. Sources informed Daily Times that the UNHRC raised questions and sought clarifications from Pakistan’s compliance with the ICCPR and asked multiple questions about the country’s track record on human rights. The UN asked questions about fair-trial concerns, jurisdiction of military courts, qualification of judges and their proceedings. Reintroduction of death penalty, cases filed on the basis of false accusations and a lack of mechanisms to protect judges who hear blasphemy cases and those accused of blasphemy. The UN body also raised questions on rights of minorities, repatriation of Afghan refugees and violence against women. The UN also raised issues of torture, extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances.