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Pakistan for UNESCO’s role to resolve Kashmir dispute, restore human rights

Pakistan has called upon the UNESCO to exercise its moral authority in pressing the Indian government to restore the fundamental rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and resolve this international dispute as per UN Security Council resolutions.


While delivering Pakistan’s national statement at the 40th session of UNESCO General Conference being held in Paris, Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood drew the world’s attention towards dangerous trends where the intellectual, moral and legal basis for maintaining global peace is eroding and education and cultural values being undermined, said a press release received here Saturday.

The minister cited the example of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir as a manifestation of these dangerous trends, where over eight million Kashmiris had been locked down under curfew for more than hundred days, with their basic human rights and fundamental freedoms being trampled with impunity.

The minister also highlighted that education was a large casualty there with around 1.5 million Kashmiri students being unable to go to school.

He also expressed dismay at the decision of India’s highest court, which virtually condoned the destruction of centuries old Babri Mosque in Ayodhya.

The minister’s statement was measured, bringing out facts that have already been widely documented by human rights organizations and international media. Importantly, it did not go beyond UNESCO’s mandate.

By contrast, India, while exercising its right of apply to Pakistan statement, made baseless and unfounded allegations against Pakistan.

India used the same old playbook, attempting to shift the world’s attention away from gross human rights atrocities being perpetrated in Indian Occupied Kashmir.

The Indian statement did not have any relevance to UNESCO’s constitution and its mandate. It was a vitriolic outburst, which smacked of a self-created delusion of grandeur and a false sense of hubris and righteousness. Many member states expressed their shock and concern on India’s statement.

In its right of reply to the Indian statement, Pakistan emphasized that it had no intention to politicize UNESCO and reiterated that its statement was completely in line with the UNESCO’s values and principles of its constitution.

Pakistan called upon India to come out of its denial about the disputed nature of Jammu and Kashmir, and reminded it of UN Secretary General’s statement of 8 August 2019 which reaffirmed that the UN’s position on Kashmir is governed by the UN Charter and applicable Security Council resolutions.

China also condemned and rejected Indian attempts to categorize Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh as their integral part.