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No religious minority can freely practice its religion in Pakistan: India highlights Pakistan’s abysmal human rights record at UNHRC

Exercising the Right to Reply, India’s representative Seema Pujani outlined the fact that religious minorities in Pakistan are faced with persecution merely for practicing their faith. 

On Saturday, India slammed Pakistan at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) over the issue of religious minorities and terrorism.

Exercising the Right to Reply, India’s representative Seema Pujani outlined the fact that religious minorities in Pakistan are faced with persecution merely for practicing their faith. 

“Pakistan’s representative has once again chosen to misuse this august forum for its malicious propaganda against India. No religious minority can freely live or practice its religion in Pakistan today. The Ahmadiya community continues to be persecuted by the state for simply practicing their faith,” Pujani said.

India raises the issue of forced disappearances 

Highlighting the issue of forced disappearances in Pakistan, India’s representative stated, “In the last decade, Pakistan’s own commission of inquiry on enforced disappearances has received 8,463 complaints. The Baloch people have borne the brunt of this cruel policy. Students, doctors, engineers, teachers, and community leaders are regularly disappeared by the state, never to return back.”

Pujani also underscored the condition and mistreatment of Christians in Pakistan. “Equally worse is the treatment of the Christian community. It is frequently targeted through draconian blasphemy laws. State institutions officially reserve sanitation jobs for Christians,” the Indian representative said. 

Non-Muslim underage girls are converted to Islam by a predatory state and an apathetic judiciary‘: India at UNHRC

Voicing concern about a “predatory state and an apathetic judiciary” in regard to the forced conversion of underage girls belonging to minority communities, the Indian diplomat said, “Underage girls from the community are converted to Islam abetted by a predatory state and an apathetic judiciary. In both the Hindu and Sikh communities, underage girls are forcibly converted, and their places of worship are frequently attacked. The state’s repression of people who wish to speak out against any of these heinous policies is incomparable. A bill, which proposes a five-year jail term for anyone who scandalizes or ridicules the military or the judiciary is currently on the table in Pakistan’s parliament.”

Pakistan’s misplaced priorities

Even at a time when Pakistan is hit by a multi-faceted crisis, the country remains fixated on India. Stressing Pakistan’s ‘obsession’ with India, Seema Pujani gave a piece of advice to Pakistani leadership and representatives to channelize their energies for the welfare of their citizens instead of peddling malicious propaganda against India.

“Pakistan’s obsession with India, while its population battle for their lives, livelihood, and freedom. is an indication of the state’s misplaced priorities. I would advise Pakistan’s leadership and officials to focus their energies on working for the benefit of their own population instead of baseless propaganda,” Pujani said. 

‘Pakistan has nurtured terrorists for decades’

The Indian diplomat further criticized Pakistan for aiding terrorism, stating, that Pakistan’s security agencies have fostered and protected UNSC-designated terrorists like Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar for decades.

“Pakistan actively lends its energies to aiding, hosting, and abetting international terrorists when it is not entirely focused on suppressing its own populace. It has the unique distinction of hosting the most number of UNSC-designated terrorists and terror organizations,” Pujani said.

The Indian diplomat also took the opportunity to remind the council of Pakistan’s history of supporting terrorism.

“Allow me to recall that Osama bin Laden lived next to Pakistan’s premier military academy. Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azar have been nurtured and sheltered by Pakistani security agencies for decades. These are but a few dreaded names from the annals of Pakistan’s history of supporting terrorism,” Pujani stated.

This comes after Hina Rabbani Khar, Pakistan’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs on Thursday expressed her ‘concern’ to a high-level panel via a video link from Islamabad over the “generous” supply of conventional and non-conventional weaponry to the largest country in the region. She claimed that this was seriously undermining South Asia’s strategic stability and jeopardizing Pakistan’s “national security”.

Without explicitly naming India Khar said, “The largest country in the region continues to be a beneficiary of nuclear exceptionalism, in violation of established non-proliferation norms and principles.” 

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OpIndia Staff
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