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Pakistan urges UN’s top human body to address ‘massive’ rights abuses in Palestine & Kashmir

UNITED NATIONS, Nov 01 (APP): Pakistan has called on UN Human Rights Council to address the massive rights violations taking place in situations of foreign occupation and intervention, highlighting the terrible ordeals in Gaza and occupied Palestine as well as Jammu and Kashmir.

“Human rights must be promoted comprehensively and in a balanced manner,” Ambassador Munir Akram told the UN General Assembly on Tuesday while underscoring the need for avoiding selectivity and double standards in the 47-member Council’s approach.

Speaking in a debate on the annual report of the President of Geneva-based Human Rights Council, the Pakistani envoy said that it must address the massive human rights violations which take place in situations of foreign occupation and intervention.

“The heart wrenching slaughter that is taking place in Gaza and occupied Palestine is visible on our television screens today,” he said, pointing out that the occupying power –Israel — has enjoyed impunity for these violations for over 50 years.

“The massive violations in occupied Jammu and Kashmir are also well recorded,” Ambassador Akram said.

In both instances, he said, the occupying powers — Israel and India — have sought to suppress the legitimate national liberation struggles under the guise of combating terrorism.

“The most recent conflict in the Middle East illustrates the danger of allowing the persistence of foreign occupation,” the Pakistan envoy added, referring to the Israel-Palestinian conflict .

At the same time, Ambassador Akram pushed for a “much more robust effort” to counter the rise of racial hatred, religious supremacy and extreme and violent nationalism and fascism in certain parts of the world.

“Islamophobia is a major element of the new phenomena manifested in the discrimination and attacks against Muslims, hijab ‘bans’, the repeated burning of the Holy Quran, blasphemous caricatures and the vandalization of Islamic symbols and holy sites,” he said, adding that such acts cannot be allowed under the cover of “freedom of expression’.

“In our eastern neighbourhood — India — the pandemic of Islamophobia poses the danger of Muslim genocide,” the Ambassador Akram said, saying that the menace should be frontally dealt with by the Council.

“The greatest weakness of the Human Rights Council is selectivity and double standards,” the Pakistani envoy said, noting that no special mechanisms have been created to address human rights violations in a developed country – only in developing countries.

“Unfounded allegations are made against one large developing country – a veiled reference to Iran — which is declared as a strategic adversary, while another large developing country – — India — considered a strategic ally – enjoys a free pass, even through several (UN) Special Rapporteurs and Mechanisms have repeatedly expressed serious concern about the widespread human rights violations being committed by the extremist ruling party in this country.”

The priority of the Human Rights Council must be to promote rapid and equitable development by seeking urgent support for developing countries facing food, fuel and finance crises, and reform the unequal financial, trade and technology regime, the Pakistani envoy said.

He said the adoption of the international covenant of the right to development will be the key component to promote economic and social rights.


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