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The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms Navanethem Pillay, met with Foreign Minister Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar at the Foreign Office today.

The Foreign Minister briefed the High Commissioner on the commitment of the democratic government to the promotion and protection of human rights of all citizens. She said that since the restoration of democracy in 2008, the government had been endevouring to create an inclusive and rights-based society. An elected parliament, independent judiciary, free media and a vibrant civil society provide safeguards for protection of rights of all segments of society.

Foreign Minister Khar also briefed the High Commissioner on the recent legislation passed for the protection of women rights and on the establishment of the National Commission for Human Rights.

The Foreign Minister and the High Commissioner also discussed issues pertaining to the UN Human Rights Council, visits of UN Special Procedures to Pakistan, ratification and implementation of human rights treaties and the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Pakistan, which is due to take place in October 2012.

The Foreign Minister drew attention to human rights violations in the Indian occupied Kashmir, including the discovery of mass graves and urged the High Commissioner to use her good offices for promotion and protection of the human rights of the Kashmiri people.

The High Commissioner thanked the Government of Pakistan’s initiative of extending invitations to her and the Special Procedures of the UN Human Rights Council. Pakistan has extended invitations to Special Rapporteur on Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression and the Working Group on Disappearances. Special Rapporteur on Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Gabriela Knaul visited Pakistan from 19-28 May 2012.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is on a five day visit to Pakistan. During the visit, she is expected to call on the Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of Pakistan.

04 June 2012

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