Pakistan questions world’s conscience over bloodshed in Gaza

Published December 9, 2023
Presi­dent Dr Arif Alvi speaks at an event held in connection with International Human Rights Day in Islamabad on Dec 8. — PID
Presi­dent Dr Arif Alvi speaks at an event held in connection with International Human Rights Day in Islamabad on Dec 8. — PID
Palestinians collect belongings from a house in Khan Yunis after Israeli strikes.—Reuters
Palestinians collect belongings from a house in Khan Yunis after Israeli strikes.—Reuters

ISLAMABAD: Presi­dent Dr Arif Alvi on Friday, questioning the world’s conscience over the bloodshed by Israel in Gaza and unabated human rights abuses in occupied Kashmir, said the world was committing the biggest mistake by not treating all humans equally.

Speaking at an event held in connection with International Human Rights Day, the president said the way the innocent children and people were being killed in Gaza, would have a long-lasting impact on peace as it would be difficult for the sufferers to forget such brutalities.

First Lady Samina Alvi, diplomats from various countries and representatives of international NGOs attended the event.

The president said that being a developing country, Pakistan was evolving regarding human rights but humanity still awaited the powerful nations to respect the human rights being violated in Palestine and held Kashmir where thousands of people had been killed with a significant ratio of women and children.

Innocent children being killed in Gaza would have a long-lasting impact on peace, says Alvi

He called for a world order with no room for wars and humanitarianism should override vested interests.

“Instead of promoting the narrative of civilised wars, the United Nations should pursue the goal of no wars in the world,” the president said.

“Humanitarianism cannot get strength in world affairs compared to the vested interests that led to the wars based on the self-serving justifications of the powerful nations.”

He said Pakistan was a well-legislated country vis-a-vis human rights backed by the Constitution and human rights declaration and emphasised the will to ensure legal justice, financial equality, empowerment, and mainstreaming of women as well as the differently-abled people.

He appreciated the role of Human Rights Minister Khalil George, Chairperson of the National Commission for Human Rights Rabia Javeria Agha and said that Pakistan’s institutions had made remarkable progress regarding legislation and attitudinal changes towards human rights.

The president said the world had witnessed immense development but it remained unable to address the economic disparity.

“No religion allows discrimination on the basis of class, creed and colour but it is still a challenge faced by the world,” he said.

Caretaker Federal Minister for Human Rights Khalil George said that Pakistan was playing an effective role in promotion of human rights and peace. He said that Pakistani minorities were carrying out their religious practices with complete freedom and security in the country.

He said the government had not only condemned incidents like Jaranwala, but also brought those responsible to justice. Contrary to that in the neighbouring country of India, Christian girls were stripped naked and paraded around the city under the auspices of the state.

Federal Secretary for Human Rights AD Khawaja said the ministry was taking steps to protect rights of all citizens including minorities.

UNDP Country Head Samuel Rizk said the UNDP had been working with the human rights ministry to ensure implementation of UN resolutions on human rights.

He said Human Rights Day was observed annually on December 10 to maintain human dignity at the global level and to raise awareness among people about human rights. The day is also aimed at preventing violations, creating a sense of responsibility and awareness among the people about their rights, especially women and children.

Published in Dawn, December 9th, 2023

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