The Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad organized a Public Talk on September 3, 2018 on Human Rights Violations in IOK. Former Australian Senator Lee Rhiannon was the guest speaker at the occasion.
Welcoming the guests, Director General ISSI, Ambassador (Retd) Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry said that for any democratic society, human rights is a cross-cutting theme – be it political rights, civil rights, women rights or children’s rights. Since Pakistan now has a third democratically elected government, the importance of human rights has grown and there is much more conscience on the issue. The Europeans have struggled to uphold human rights. The French Revolution on one hand showed that principle of freedom and liberty are important, but it also showed how difficult it is to uphold these principles. The American nation too has impounded on these principles. The European experience of war and conflict led it to take the right conclusion that human dignity is at the centre of all human endeavor. The United Nations (UN) was a culmination of that struggle. Very few people know that while the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted in 1948, several centuries ago the last sermon of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) also focused on human rights and therefore, for Pakistan, human rights are important not only politically, but by virtue of faith as well. This is precisely the reason Pakistan is signatory to a number of instruments of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and others. Speaking on the situation in Indian occupied Kashmir, Ambassador (Retd) Chaudhry highlighted the recently released UN report, and said that finally the conscience of the world is waking up to this issue. A number of measures have been suggested in the report to which the Indian government’s response has been extremely negative and hostile.