President Dr Arif Alvi has said as a member state of the United Nations, Pakistan fully endorses the Charter of the United Nations which strives to promote and encourage respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms without any discrimination of race, gender, language or religion.
"The Government of Pakistan attaches high priority to advancing the objectives of development, human rights and democracy and is working hard to implement its international commitments through Treaty Implementation Cells that have been set up at both federal and provincial level," the president said in a message on the International Human Rights Day which is being observed across the globe on December 10 (Monday).
The president noted that the Day was celebrated with pride to acknowledge commitment of the global community towards human rights. This commitment was made in the form of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). This year marked the 70% anniversary of UDHR and called for renewed commitment and protection of basic human rights, he added.
The president observed that democratic struggle of the Muslims of sub-continent against colonialism led to the creation of Pakistan in 1947, which was galvanized by the ideals of fundamental freedom and human dignity. "These ideals inspired our newly independent country to be amongst the first signatories of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on the eve of its adoption in 1948," he added.
He said the words of Father of the nation Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, were the guiding principle of their policy, "We are equal citizens of one State". Hence, the constitution of Pakistan guaranteed freedom and fundamental rights to its all citizens. The president said Pakistan continued to regularly report relevant treaty bodies on the implementation of conventions signed.
He said Pakistan's election as member of the Human Rights Council for the term 2018-20 was reflection of their commitment to human rights. The president also drew attention of the international community towards atrocities committed against the Kashmiri people in the Indian Occupied Kashmir.
He urged the United Nations particularly to play its due role and ensure that Kashmiris also enjoyed all their human rights as guaranteed under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the UN Security Council resolutions. "The people of Kashmir are looking forward to the international community fulfilling their commitments to the Kashmiri people," he added.
The president also commended the UN for observing this day globally and also paid homage to all organizations and individuals who were striving for the noble cause of human rights. He also appreciated the Ministry of Human Rights for working to give a holistic human rights perspective to governance structure and for their consistent effort to uphold and protect human rights in the country.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has stressed upon the need to work against the exploitation and marginalization of vulnerable groups which deprives them of their basic rights, thus leading them to a life of dignity and equality. "The Government of the PTI is committed to making this vision a concrete reality. Pakistanis aspire for a society based on equality, rule of law, respect for diversity, and justice," the prime minister said in a message on the occasion of Human Rights Day being observed across the globe on December 10 (Monday).
In Pakistan today, he said, they were committed to 'a strong democracy, rule of law, an independent judiciary, a free media and a vibrant civil society.' The prime minister said Pakistan was proud to join hands with the global community in celebrating Human Rights Day as the day acknowledged the world's commitment to the promotion and protection of Human Rights.
"It celebrates dignity, freedom, equality and justice for all. In line with the vision of our founding father Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Pakistan is a democratic, pluralistic and progressive state," he added. The prime minister said the present Government of Pakistan was cognizant of its duties in the realm of human rights.
Legislation and policy initiatives, presenting and defending international treaty reports, setting up of human rights structures from federal to grassroots level, national action plans and financial inclusion strategies, institutional reforms, gender empowerment, child protection and the provision of social nets were just a few of its initiatives in the field of human rights, he added.
Prime Minister Imran Khan further said, "The Government of Pakistan is also cognizant of its duties to all its citizens and to the international community. Like all nations of the world, we face challenges in our journey ahead, but we are meeting these challenges with a determined commitment." He maintained that PTI's vision focused on ensuring steady mainstreaming of human rights in their overall policies and in the national discourse.
"We are working to address discrimination faced by women and vulnerable groups in our society by providing them an enabling socio-economic environment for growth and protection of their rights guaranteed under the Constitution," he added. The prime minister further enumerated that independent commissions, empowered as courts, worked to redress human rights violations, ombudsman offices addressed harassment and the State Bank aimed to bring increased women into the banking system by 2020.
A treaty implementation cell ensured the effective implementation of treaties signed and provincial governments & task forces reflected this commitment in concrete action, he added. He also lauded the work done by Ministry of Human Rights and said over the past three months, the ministry had taken strong initiatives for the promotion and protection of human rights in Pakistan.
These included nine new legislations, policies on women empowerment; gender based violence and child abuse, he said, adding the ministry had already concluded a study on women's right to inheritance and was working closely with relevant stakeholders to ensure that no woman was deprived of her right to own and inherit property. The prime minister noted that the governance was not only about running the state machinery to keep one's borders safe and the law and order situation under control. Nations also had the mandate to eliminate inequalities and inequities entrenched in society, he added.