Geneva: The Universal Periodic Review reviewed the Human Rights situation in Pakistan in its 28th session in Geneva on Monday. Pakistan’s Foreign minister Khawaja Asif headed the delegation of Pakistan.
UN Human Rights Council echoed the deteriorating Human Rights situation in Pakistan. The UPR presented several recommendations for the protection of women rights’ in Pakistan.
The protection of minority rights was another hot topic discussed, where the UPR urged Pakistan to take formidable steps to protect religious minorities like Hindus, Sikhs, Shia, Ahmedis. The minority group specifically urged Pakistan to protect the Ahmedi community from persecution on blasphemy charges.
Indian delegates showed their grave concerns over the mass human rights violations in Sindh, KPK and Baluchistan regions of Pakistan and also condemned the persecution and forced conversions of Hindus and other minorities in Pakistan.
The establishment of military courts in Pakistan was also criticized by India and several other countries.
Several delegates urged Pakistan to reply the requests of UN Working Groups’ to visit Pakistan.
China distracted the discussion by ignoring the agenda and went on counting the benefits of CPEC.
The UPR condemned the persecution of journalists and subjection of human rights defenders to state torture by Pakistan and urged Pakistan to assure their protection.
The Pakistani delegation withstood its customary and opportunist stance by stating that it’s the terrorists, not the state that attacks journalists and human rights defenders.
Switzerland and Germany condemned the enforced disappearances of political and human rights activists. Both countries urged Pakistan to assure the protection and safety of the victims of enforced disappearances. Switzerland demanded Pakistan to put the culprits of enforced disappearances to justice.
The US delegates condemned the blasphemy law and urged Pakistan to abolish such laws to protect minorities specially Ahmedi community.
Austria and other countries condemned the underage marriages and urged Pakistan to formulate laws to limit the legal age of marriage as above 18.
The delegates from several countries urged to assure the right to freedom of speech but none among the member states spake about the Cyber Crime Law which largely restricts the freedom of speech and expression in Pakistan.
The member states also expressed their concerns about the execution of death penalty in Pakistan. The LGBT Rights and Refugee Rights were also discussed in the session. Tons of recommendations were presented to Pakistan to make serious efforts to ensure public and civil liberties at home and avoid human rights violations.
At the end of the 28th UPR, the troika is now left with preparing an outcome of the report which will be adopted by Pakistan on Thursday. Pakistan will have the option to either “accept” or “note” the recommendations made by the member states.