ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi, questioning the world’s conscience over the bloodshed by Israel in Gaza and unabated human rights abuses in held Kashmir, said on Friday that the world was committing the biggest mistake by not treating all humans equally.
The president, addressing an event held in connection with International Human Rights Day, 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 official news agency reported.
The president said that being a developing country, Pakistan was evolving regarding human rights but humanity still awaited the powerful nations to respect the HRs being violated in Palestine and Kashmir where thousands of people had been killed with a significant ratio of women and children.
The president called for a world order with no room for wars and humanitarianism should override vested interests. Instead of promoting the narrative of civilized wars, the United Nations should pursue the goal of no wars in the world, he added.
He said humanitarianism could not 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.
President Alvi said that Pakistan was a well-legislated country vis-a-vis human rights backed by the constitution and its 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 Pakistan’s institutions had made remarkable progress regarding legislation and the attitudinal changes towards HRs.
He told the gathering that in case of any human rights violation, Pakistan’s state and judicial system took prompt action against those responsible for HRs violation and the people also discouraged such acts.
He said the world had witnessed immense development but it remained unable to address the economic disparity. He told the gathering that no religion allowed discrimination on the basis of class, creed and colour but it was yet a challenge faced by the world.
Caretaker Federal Minister for Human Rights Khalil George said that Pakistan was playing an effective role in the promotion of human rights and peace. He said that the Pakistani minorities carrying out their religious practices and celebrating their festivals manifested a sense of freedom and security in the country.
He told the gathering that the government had not only condemned incidents like Jaranwala, but also brought those responsible to justice. Contrarily, 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 told the participants that the ministry was taking steps to ensure the protection of the rights of all citizens including minorities.
He said that currently National Commission for Human Rights, the National Commission for Rights of Women and National Commission on the Status of Women were playing an active role at the national level while the work on the establishment of the National Commission for Minority Rights was going on rapidly.
UNDP Country Head Samuel Rizk said that the UNDP had been working with the human rights ministry to ensure the implementation of UN resolutions on HRs.
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 HRs. 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.
National Commission for Human Rights Pakistan Chairperson Rabia Javeria Agha said that despite the limited resources, the commission processed 3,400 complaints and issued 12 reports on various issues related to women.
She called for joint efforts by all relevant stakeholders including institutions and NGOs to ensure the protection of women’s rights.