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I. Background

Pakistan is a signatory to nearly all international treaties that consider privacy as a fundamental human right, including the UN Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, but excluding the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families (ICRMW). Furthermore, the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan recognises the individual's privacy as an inviolable right by specifically guaranteeing the dignity of citizens, privacy of home, and the protection of life, liberty and body as fundamental rights.

Provisions regarding privacy are further incorporated into the various laws of the country, subdivided into individual, informational, and spiritual domains. These laws, meanwhile, have both positive and negative implications on privacy rights in Pakistan and are, as such, considered to be the main instrument in this study for understanding the dynamics of privacy in the country. Scrutiny of these laws is essential for devising a set of pragmatic guidelines for the stakeholders concerned; said guidelines are also meant to serve as a policy framework on which laws can be evaluated and corrective action taken.