PM's MESSAGE ON THE OCCASION OF THE INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS DAY

MESSAGE FROM MR. SHAHID KHAQAN ABBASI, PRIME MINISTER OF PAKISTAN, ON THE OCCASION OF THE INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS DAY, 10TH DECEMBER 2017

The International Human Rights Day is an occasion for the comity of nations to reaffirm its commitment to the protection of human rights and the promotion of human values across the globe in the true spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed by the United Nations in 1948.

Pakistan is fully alive to its national and international responsibilities to preserve human rights. We stand resolute in upholding the core values of, and fundamental right to, the equality of all human beings, peaceful co-existence, respect for diversity and difference, and protection against discrimination in any form, as ordained by our religion and obligated by our constitution. It is Islam that for the first time incorporated human rights as an integral part of its code of law, thereby providing the necessary legal foundations for a just and inclusive society.

In conformity with our beliefs and commitments, the Government of Pakistan is undertaking several important initiatives, including multidimensional legal reforms and the establishment of institutional mechanisms that would ensure the protection of human rights, especially in the case of marginalised and disadvantaged societal groups. An autonomous National Commission for Human Rights has been established and the Action Plan for Human Rights prioritises the rights of women, children, minorities and persons with disabilities.

I would also like to avail this opportunity to appreciate the efforts made by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights for the protection of human rights around the world. However, we must also understand that the apathetic denial and grim violations of even the very basic of human rights to the Palestinians, the Kashmiris and Rohingyas continue to call in question the collective conscience of the international community. Nevertheless, I have firm faith that with earnestness of purpose and concerted effort by the international fraternity, we will, one day, build a fair and equitable world in which all communities, peoples and nations will have the same fundamental rights – grounded in their being ‘human’, and not their ‘difference’.