ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi and Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar on Saturday expressed their concerns over the ongoing human rights violations in Gaza and Indian Occupied Kashmir, terming it the biggest challenge before the world and the United Nations as the international community observes the Human Rights Day today (Sunday).
In their separate messages on the eve of the Human Rights Day which is being observed today to mark the 75th anniversary of one of the world’s most groundbreaking global pledges — the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The landmark Declaration that enshrines the inalienable rights that everyone is entitled to as a human being regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status had been proclaimed in Paris on December 10, 1948.
In his message, President Alvi pledged that Pakistan was committed to upholding all the rights as enshrined in the Constitution of Pakistan, the UDHR, and other relevant international instruments.
International Human Rights Day today
“As the international community observes International Human Rights Day, it is unfortunate that the people of Palestine are being deprived of their rights and have been subjected to the worst form of state terrorism and ethnic cleansing by Israel,” said the president.
The Israeli forces have killed thousands of innocent people, including women, children, and healthcare and aid workers, besides bombing hospitals, schools, and residential areas. The international community, he said, had failed to take action against Israel and stop it from committing a genocide of the Palestinian people. Similarly, he said, the human rights abuses in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) also demanded the attention of the international community to hold India accountable for unleashing a reign of terror against the people.
Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar in his message stated that despite visible progress in the field of human rights, several challenges remained in achieving the desired milestones. Collaborative efforts, both at the national and international level, are vital to address the complexities involved in dealing with issues related to human rights. Pakistan also remains deeply concerned by the status of human rights in other parts of the world, he said.
The prime minister said a pressing human rights situation had emerged in Palestine where Israel was egregiously violating human rights in Gaza, resulting in thousands of causalities, including innocent women and children. Israel’s purposeful, indiscriminate, and disproportionate targeting of people violates all standards of human rights and constitutes a clear breach of international law, he said.
Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in a statement said the UDHR was a roadmap, helping to end wars, heal divisions and promote lives of peace and dignity for all.
“But the world is losing its way. Conflicts are raging. Poverty and hunger are increasing. Inequalities are deepening. The climate crisis is a human rights crisis that is hitting the most vulnerable hardest”, he said, adding: “Civic space is shrinking and the media is under attack from all sides. Gender equality remains a distant dream and women’s reproductive rights are being rolled back. Today, it is more important than ever to promote and respect all human rights – social, cultural, economic, civil and political – which protect us all,” he said.
“The world today was experiencing levels of violent conflict not seen since the end of the Second World War, with deepening inequalities, increasing discrimination and hate speech, impunity, growing divisions and polarisation, and a climate emergency, UN Human Rights Chief Volker Turk said in a statement.
Published in Dawn, December 10th, 2023