2011 was a mixed bag for human rights. There certainly were some positives; some things remained unchanged; and then there were the aggravations. Ratification of a key child rights instrument, extension of Political Parties Act to FATA, introduction of laws to promote women's rights, religious minorities getting representation in the Senate, and a right to statutory bail for detainees in prisons are all steps that ought to be welcomed.
Unfortunately, the inability to introduce implementation mechanisms for international human rights treaties ratified by Pakistan remained unchanged, as did the indifference to or complicity with banning women from voting, and curbing disappearances and extrajudicial killings. The moratorium on executions stayed informal. The prisons remained at breaking point. Nothing was done to revive elected student unions in educational institutions or end the glut of weapons across the country. The public education system remained a scandal, the budgetary allocations to public healthcare fell even further, the government ceded ground to extremists and was utterly unprepared at the framework level to cope with internal displacement and its impact.