Amid euphoria over India and Pakistan agreeing to strictly adhere to the ceasefire agreement and give peace a chance, Islamabad has set a record that is usually discordant due to its preoccupation with Kashmir. Last week, the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC), a 57-nation bloc, referred to the situation at J&K while reaffirming its ‘commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms’ during the 46th Session of the United Nations Human Rights. Board. There is no prize for guessing that K-word has been included in the OIC statement at the insistence of Pakistan, a prominent member of the organization. Taking exception to the mention of J&K, New Delhi accuses the OIC of allowing itself to be exploited by Pakistan to engage in anti-India propaganda. True to its form, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, while welcoming the restoration of a ceasefire along the LoC, provided unsolicited advice to India to ‘take the necessary steps to fulfill the long-standing demand and right of the Kashmiri people to self-determination under the UNSC Resolution ‘.
The OIC’s statement simply makes no reference to the human rights violations that have occurred in its member states, particularly Pakistan, which are habitual perpetrators on this count. The release of terrorist Omar Saeed Sheikh, the prime suspect in the 2002 murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl, exemplifies a parody of justice. Keeping Pakistan on the gray list, the FATF – the global watchdog for money laundering and terror financing – recently had to alert the country’s courts to provide “effective, firm and proportionate” penalties for those involved in terrorism.
Disappearances and murders of Baloch activists became commonplace. Not even the crusaders based outside Pakistan were spared. Idris Khattak, who is investigating enforced disappearances in Pakistan for organizations such as Amnesty International, himself went missing in November 2019. The persecution of minority communities and the destruction of their religious sites also underscores the country’s poor human rights record. Pakistan is strongly advised to make road corrections rather than succumb to the temptation to take photos of India in international forums.
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