(2018-12-10) 10th December marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – the Magna Carta of human rights. This day in 1948, the world unanimously declared that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and right.
This Declaration has acted as the basic document in paving the way for freedom struggles of the people under occupation, prevention of gross violations of fundamental freedoms, and reducing discrimination on any ground.
Pakistan is proud of the contribution made by Begum Shaista Ikramullah in the drafting of this seminal document.
Promoting human dignity as well as basic rights and meeting basic human are mutually reinforcing imperatives. We in Pakistan believe that respect for and protection of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights for all can be ensured through an inclusive approach – by alleviating poverty and reducing inequalities; expanding access to education and health; providing clean drinking water and sanitation; protecting the environment; ensuring respect for human dignity, justice and equality; and ensuring peace and stability both between and within countries.
The father of the nation, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, set forth the guiding principles for guaranteeing human dignity, equality, justice and fundamental freedoms for all segments of the society. These ideals have been translated into our Constitution and laws. Our independent judiciary, free media and vibrant civil society act as protectors of fundamental freedoms.
Pakistan continues to constructively engage with the international human rights mechanisms at the United Nations and is well respected for its positive contribution. Nationally, Pakistan has enacted wide ranging legislation, established strong institutional machinery and is putting in place robust policy measures in the field of human rights.
Even as we celebrate the considerable progress made in advancing human rights across the world, let us not forget the people living under subjugation even in this century and age. On this day, pay our tribute to the valiant people on Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IoK) who have continued their struggle for their legitimate right to self-determination against barbaric and despotic Indian regime.
The impunity, systematic abuses and violations of human rights by Indian forces in IoK have now been well documented by the United Nations, OIC and the All Parties Parliamentary Group on Kashmir of the UK Parliament. The world can no longer remain silent in the face of mass blinding of children and women, brutal killings of civilians, rapes, murder and torture in IoK. We once again call for establishment of UN Commission of Inquiry to investigate these crimes in IoK.
The world today is faced with myriad of challenges including broad assault from terrorists and extremists, exclusivist populist electoral politics, intimidation and incitement o hatred as well as denigration of venerated personalities, intolerance, cow-vigilantism and hate crimes against women wearing hijab. The need for uniting against those creating divide of ‘us’ against ‘them’ is more than ever.
We reaffirm our resolve to stand up for the values enshrined in the UDHR both nationally and internationally, in the realization, promotion and protection of all human rights.
Last modified: November 18, 2019
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