UNITED NATIONS - Pakistan has called on the United Nations to highlight the serious violations of human rights taking place in Indian Occupied Kashmir , a call that evoked strong objections from India.
Speaking in a session of the UN Committee on Information, a world body’s key forum, the Press Minister at the Pakistani Mission to the UN, Masood Anwar, raised the issue of Kashmir , saying that human rights violations are taking place against the oppressed Kashmiri people.
“The world we live today is marred with conflict and strife while we maintain unity in fighting terrorism and extremism.
Countering the narrative of this twisted ideologies is imperative,” Anwar said.
He said the UN’s Department of Public Information (DPI) can play an important role in defusing tensions and promoting interfaith harmony.
“Human rights violations in particular are a matter of serious concern to the international community,” he said.
He urged DPI to highlight situations where “grave violations of human rights are taking place”, especially against the Rohingya, Kashmiris and Palestinians.”
India rejected Anwar’s reference to Kashmir , saying his remarks were irrelevant to the work of the committee.
“We have seen another attempt here today to make reference to issues extraneous to the agenda of the committee. We completely reject these remarks as they have no relevance to the work of the Committee,” S. Srinivas Prasad, minister in the Indian mission to the UN, said during the debate.
In his speech, Masood Anwar, the Pakistani delegate, also said that large movements of refugees and migrants trying to escape conflict and strife had rightly engaged the attention of and elicited the deep concern of the international community.
However, situations of protracted refugee presence where persons remained displaced for decades must not be forgotten.
Recalling that Pakistan had hosted millions of Afghan refugees for more than 40 years, he urged the Department to focus on such situations, also drawing attention to his country’s renaissance in music, art and film. Young Pakistanis were breaking stereotypes, and society now reflected modernity and vibrancy rooted in the country’s ancient civilizational roots.
As Pakistan was one of the main troop contributing countries to United Nations peacekeeping operations, he said it was working with other contributors on norm building discussions including on the reform of that key United Nations enterprise and urged the Department to bolster its efforts to support that project. APP