ISLAMABAD, Dec 10 (APP): As the world observed International Human Rights Day, Pakistan reiterated its call on the international community to hold India accountable for serious crimes against the Kashmiri people in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).
“India must be called upon to accept a UN Commission of Inquiry for an independent and impartial investigation of the situation in IIOJK and fully respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the Kashmiri people,” Foreign Office spokesperson said in a statement.
He said Pakistan joined the international community in observing the International Human Rights Day, marked each year to commemorate the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) by the United Nations on 10 December 1948.
He said on this day, “We must particularly keep in our thoughts and prayers the oppressed people in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), who are not only being denied their inalienable right to self-determination for over seven decades, but also facing gruesome repression at the hands of Indian occupation forces acting with full impunity.”
The spokesperson said since August 5, 2019, the Kashmiri people were enduring the worst form of human rights violations. Their suffering has increased manifolds during the global pandemic.
In defiance of its obligations under the UN Charter, UNSC resolutions and international law, especially the 4th Geneva Convention, India is seeking to alter the demographic structure of the occupied territory, he added.
He said India’s gross and systematic violations of human rights in IIOJK had been comprehensively documented in the two Kashmir reports of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) as well as by the UN Special Procedure Mandate Holders, international civil society, and the media.
The spokesperson said the International Human Rights Day was an occasion to reaffirm the resolve to respect and uphold human dignity and to promote the human rights agenda without any distinction or discrimination.
He said the UDHR embodied the humanity’s collective ideals of building peaceful, inclusive and just societies. Pakistan is proud of the rich imprints in the document from Pakistan’s representative, Begum Shaista Ikramullah, who was amongst the select group that drafted the UDHR.
The spokesperson said as a progressive and democratic state that was mindful of its international commitments and obligations, Pakistan was constructively engaged with various human rights mechanisms under UN auspices and always strived to play a positive role as a bridge-builder across diverse political and regional perspectives at the UN.
“Nationally, we have instituted wide-ranging people-centric policy measures, which are anchored in the Government’s vision to reshape Pakistan in the image of the State of Madinah established by our Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him),” he said.
Bolstered by its country’s constitution, progressive legislation, administrative reforms, and institution building, the government’s actions were particularly aimed at the disadvantaged by seeking to reduce inequalities and expand access to education, health-care and employment opportunities.
Poverty alleviation, empowerment of women and youth, achievement of Sustainable Development Goals, ensuring equality of opportunities, and justice for all segments of the society are at the center of Pakistan’s human rights priorities, he remarked.
He said Pakistan’s response to COVID-19 has been comprehensive, with a special focus on vulnerable groups. The global pandemic warrants a holistic approach including by ensuring affordable and equitable access to and distribution of COVID vaccine, and increasing fiscal space for developing countries in support of their recovery efforts through debt relief