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Pakistan Marks World Human Rights Day, Urges World to Act on Kashmir and Palestine

Pakistan joined the rest of the world in observing World Human Rights Day on December 10, 2023, with the theme of “Freedom, Equality, and Justice for All”. The day marks the anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948, which is considered the most comprehensive and universal document on human rights.

On this occasion, President Dr Arif Alvi and Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar issued messages reaffirming Pakistan’s commitment to upholding and protecting the human rights of its citizens and all people around the world, as enshrined in the country’s Constitution, the UDHR, and other international treaties and conventions.

President Alvi said that Pakistan has taken various legal, economic, and social measures to ensure the fundamental rights of all its citizens, especially the minority groups, who enjoy equal opportunities and a conducive environment for their social, political, and economic development. He said that Pakistan respects the diversity and pluralism of its society and promotes the values of tolerance, harmony, and coexistence.

The president also expressed his deep concern over the grave human rights violations and atrocities committed by Israel against the Palestinian people, who have been subjected to state terrorism, ethnic cleansing, and genocide for decades. He said that the international community has failed to fulfill its moral and legal obligations to stop Israel from its illegal and inhumane actions and to ensure the implementation of the relevant UN resolutions on the Palestinian issue. He urged the world to take immediate and effective steps to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine and to establish a sovereign and independent Palestinian state with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.

Moreover, the president emphasised the need for global attention and action to address the human rights crisis in India-held Kashmir (IHK), where the Indian forces have been carrying out a brutal campaign of repression, violence, and terror against the Kashmiri people for over seven decades. He said that India has violated all norms and principles of human rights and international law in IHK, where it has imposed a military siege, a communication blackout, and a demographic change. He said that Pakistan reiterates its unwavering moral, diplomatic, and political support for the Kashmiri people’s legitimate right to self-determination, as recognised by the UN Security Council resolutions. He called for an end to the Indian occupation of Kashmir and a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the wishes of the Kashmiri people and the UN resolutions.

Caretaker Prime Minister Kakar also reiterated the government’s commitment to promoting and safeguarding human rights at home and abroad. In his message, he criticised India for its flagrant and systematic human rights abuses in IHK, where it has unleashed a reign of terror and oppression on the innocent and unarmed Kashmiris. He said that India has defied the international community and the UN by denying the Kashmiris their basic rights and freedoms. He said that Pakistan will continue to raise its voice for the Kashmiri cause at all forums and platforms and will stand by the Kashmiris till they achieve their cherished goal of freedom from Indian tyranny.

The caretaker premier also condemned Israel’s actions in Palestine, where it has violated the human rights and dignity of the Palestinian people. He said that Israel has shown utter disregard for the international law and the humanitarian norms by deliberately and disproportionately targeting the civilians, especially the women and children, in Gaza and other occupied territories. He said that Israel’s aggression and expansionism pose a serious threat to the peace and security of the region and the world. He called for an immediate cessation of hostilities and a lasting solution to the Palestinian issue based on the two-state solution and the pre-1967 borders.

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