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Protecting human rights, a constitutional duty in Pakistan: Foreign Minister

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ISLAMABAD, Dec 10 (APP): Caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani on Sunday reiterated the commitment to protect and promote human rights saying it was a constitutional duty and a guiding light in Pakistan.

“Pakistan’s democratic traditions, civil society, media, and legal institutions underpin our unwavering commitment to the rights and freedoms of all citizens,” he said in his message on the occasion of International Day of Human Rights.

On this Human Rights Day, Pakistan joins the international community in commemorating the 75th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR), the foreign minister said.

He added the declaration inspired humanity’s continued effort to “promote universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms.”

Pakistan welcomes this year’s theme of International Day for Human Rights, “Freedom, equity and justice”, he said adding “We join the international community in celebrating the progress made in realizing these shared ideals. It is also an important occasion to reflect on the risks arising from impunity in violation of these foundational norms”.

He said festering and unresolved conflicts remain the most significant impediment to realizing the lofty ideals of freedom, justice, and equity.
Recently, the disruptive power of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic have further compounded structural inequalities within and between countries.

The foreign minister said discrimination, intolerance, and new forms of racism, such as Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred were on the rise and exacerbated by the misuse of new technologies to spread disinformation. “Pakistan calls for sustained and coherent global responses to promote a culture of peace.”

On the 75th anniversary of the UDHR, Pakistan underscores the immutable centrality of the inalienable right to self-determination, as enshrined in the UN Charter and UDHR.

“We stand firmly in solidarity with the people of the Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir and occupied Palestine. The occupying powers’ brazen disregard for international human rights law and international humanitarian law can never suppress the occupied people’s aspirations for liberty and self-determination,” FM Jilani remarked.

He maintained that Pakistan would continue to extend moral, diplomatic and political support to the valiant resistance of the Kashmiri and Palestinian peoples against occupation and for the realization of their right to self-determination.

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