FM to attend Human Rights Council session next month – Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi will attend the next session of the United Nations Human Rights Council next month to highlight the plight of cashmere in Kashmir in India.

"I will personally attend the Human Rights Council meeting and inform the members about the aggravating human rights situation in occupied Kashmir," Qureshi told the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs of the National Assembly.

The 42nd session of the council begins on September 9 and arrangements are being made for Mr. Qureshi's participation in it. The newly appointed special envoy Tehmina Janjua is already in Geneva for the arrangements. "You are working in a space," said an official Sunrise.

The position of the permanent representative of Pakistan to the United Nations in Geneva had been vacant since March. There was no urgency to occupy such an important position until the crisis in Kashmir, controlled by India, broke out and improvised arrangements were made by temporarily naming Ms. Janjua as special envoy.

Qureshi will inform council members about the worsening of the human rights situation in Kashmir, controlled by India

The situation in occupied Kashmir is not on the agenda of the session. Mr. Qureshi, speaking with SunriseHe said he would make a statement about Kashmir.

The Foreign Minister had written to the UN chief of human rights last week to ask India to put an end to human rights abuses in occupied Kashmir.

Mr. Qureshi, in a letter addressed to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, had asked him to demand that India "rescind its unilateral actions, lift curfews and other draconian measures and restore the fundamental rights of the Kashmir people. "

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, in its report presented last month, documented the human rights situation in Kashmir between May 2018 and April 2019. The report specifically pointed to the serious worsening of the situation after the attack of the February 14 against Indian paramilitary forces in Pulwama that had led to a military confrontation between Pakistan and India. The report indicated that the post-Pulwama situation continued to impact the rights of cashmere, including the right to life.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had warned of the impending humanitarian crisis in the valley, which was described as the largest prison in the world. Then, the FO said: "The region is waiting for a humanitarian crisis that is coming, as there is a shortage of food and medicine, which puts people's lives at risk, especially the elderly, women and children."

Published on Dawn, August 28, 2019



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