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Message by Foreign Minister of Pakistan on Human Rights Day

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ISLAMABAD, Dec 11 (APP): This year, the Human Rights Day assumes special significance as it coincides with the 70th anniversary of the adoption of Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), Foreign Minister said in his HR day message here Sunday.

In the last seven decades, considerable progress has been made in advancing and safeguarding human rights across the world. This day is an occasion to celebrate collective successes and achievements in this important area. This day provides us an opportunity to reaffirm our resolve to promote, and respect human dignity, rights as well as needs.

On behalf of the people and Government of Pakistan, I wish to reiterate our strong commitment to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as needs. Pakistan has demonstrated its resolve by enacting wide ranging legislation, establishing strong institutional machinery and putting in place robust policy measures in the field of human rights. Pakistans Constitution serves as an anchor and guarantor of fundamental freedoms and human rights of all Pakistanis.

The Government of Pakistan accords high priority to advancing mutually reinforcing objectives of development, human rights and democracy. The Government is laying special emphasis on creating an inclusive society as envisioned by the Father of the Nation, Quaid-e-Azam, Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Protecting, strengthening and promoting respect for human rights is a solemn duty of every State towards its people.

This year is also significant for Pakistan in the field of human rights. Pakistan actively engaged with the UN human rights institutions and partners through regular submission of national reports, participation in review processes and implementation of recommendations arising from such mechanisms. Pakistan filed reports and participated in the review mechanism of three international treaty bodies, namely CAT, ICESCR and ICCPR. Pakistan also successfully presented its third national report on Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on 13 November 2017. This level of engagement, participation and contribution demonstrates Pakistans commitment as well as actions to advance the cause of human rights.

Pakistans success as the newly elected member of the Human Rights Council (HRC) this year is a testimony to the confidence reposed in Pakistan by the international community as a consensus builder within the international human rights policy framework.

As we commemorate this day, it is important to recognize and demand full respect for the rights of people under continued illegal occupation. Foremost among these are the people of Indian occupied Jammu & Kashmir and Palestine. This day should serve as a reminder for realization of one of the fundamental rights – right to self-determination. Pakistan wishes to reaffirm its full diplomatic, political and moral support to the Kashmiri people in the just cause for human dignity, respect and inalienable right to self-determination. Pakistan also calls upon the international community to lend its voice and support to the people of Palestine who remain subjected to torture, killings, illegal occupation of their lands and gross violations of their rights and dignity.

While we commemorate this day, we should not lose sight of the worrying trends such as xenophobia, Islamophobia, intolerance, discrimination, and hate crimes against migrant communities that have clouded the achievements in the field of human rights. Let us redouble our collective efforts in making sure that the true spirit of UDHR is fully adhered to by states across the world.�

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