Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif yesterday presented Pakistan’s national report on Universal Periodic Review (UPR) before the Human Rights Council in Geneva. This was the third report by Pakistan since the inception of UPR process in 2006, the first two being in 2008 and 2012.
The Foreign Minister outlined the wide range of legislative, institutional, administrative and policy measures to advance and safeguard human rights in Pakistan. While highlighting the substantial progress made, the Foreign Minister reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to promote human rights in the spirit of constructive dialogue, engagement and cooperation. Pakistan’s active role and contribution as a consensus builder within the international human rights policy debates was also underscored.
Presentation of these reports is part of the Universal Periodic Review process established by the Human Rights Council whereby all UN member states outline the steps taken and progress made in the area of human rights. 117 countries participated in Pakistan’s UPR. An overwhelming majority of States welcomed Pakistan’s advancement of Human rights Agenda. While acknowledging and appreciating the progress made by Pakistan, participating States made suggestions for its consideration.
The Foreign Minister was accompanied by a high-level delegation, which included Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq; Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Law, Barrister Zafarullah Khan, Minister of Human Rights Punjab Khalil Tahir Sindhu and Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva Ambassador Farukh Amil. Senior Federal and Provincial officials including Secretary Human Rights, representatives of Federal Ministry of Religious Affairs, Secretaries Law from Khyber Pukhtunkhwa and Sindh were also part of the delegation.