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Humanitarian law in an Islamic context: Internally displaced persons in Pakistan

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posted on 2023-08-30, 15:46 authored by Faiz Bakhsh
The headcount of IDPs in the world is currently 40 million, and armed conflict in Pakistan has resulted in repeated displacements for a decade, with an estimated 1.4 million IDPs needing protection from the national government, within an Islamic social and cultural context. This research explores the protection of internally displaced persons (IDPs) under International Humanitarian Law (IHL) in an Islamic context, with a case study of IDPs in Pakistan. This research applies a mixed method approach combining legal interpretation and application of the international legal framework applicable to IDPs and the relevance of Islamic Law in the context of the domestic legal structure of Pakistan. An empirical/socio-legal case study of IDPs in Pakistan uses qualitative field interviews to investigate the implementation of the legal framework applicable to IDPs. This research analyses the applicability of IHL in the presence of Sharia Laws in the domestic legal structure of Pakistan, especially on IDPs affected by non-international armed conflict. It has found a poor domestic legal framework, and poor implementation of IHL, leading to inadequate protection to IDPs. Sharia Law in the legal structure of Pakistan does not hinder IHL from providing protection to IDPs. The government of Pakistan should do more to ensure the applicability of IDPs legal framework, especially the implementation of the rules of IHL, but this is hindered by continuing armed conflict and a lack of review mechanism for the current status and number of IDPs.



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