–PM demands inquiry commission to probe HR abuses in IOK
—FM Qureshi, UNGA president discuss regional, global development
–UNGA president terms BISP as a ‘revolutionary programme’
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday called for the early establishment of a commission of inquiry to investigate human rights abuses in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) as recommended by the United Nations (UN).
He was talking to UN General Assembly (UNGA) President Maria Fernanda Espinosa who called on him in Islamabad.
The prime minister drew the attention of the UNGA president to the massive human rights violations in IOK that have been documented in the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Report of June 2018.
Referring to blasphemous caricatures, PM Khan conveyed the deep anguish of the people of Pakistan on such attempts to hurt the feelings of billions of Muslims. The premier urged Maria Fernanda Espinosa to play her role in dissuading elements that carried out such hurtful acts. The importance of building harmony and interreligious understanding and dialogue was also underlined in the meeting.
PM Imran Khan commended the president for her leadership and efforts aimed at empowering the disadvantaged and marginalised people, noting that those priorities were in tune with the government’s people-centric agenda. He also briefed her on government’s plans for the creation of jobs for young Pakistanis, launching of a massive poverty alleviation programme, five million housing units and billion tree tsunami.
The UNGA president expressed deep appreciation to the PM for pursuing an agenda that was anchored in the welfare of people. She also lauded Pakistan’s efforts for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan and its exemplary hospitality of millions of Afghan refugees.
Meanwhile, Maria Fernanda Espinosa also called on President Dr Arif Alvi in Islamabad. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua and Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN Maleeha Lodhi were also present in the meeting.
FM QURESHI, UNGA PRESIDENT DISCUSS REGIONAL, GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT:
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi held talks with UNGA President Maria Fernanda Espinosa at the Foreign Office (FO).
This was the first official engagement of the visiting dignitary since her arrival in the country. The two dignitaries discussed a range of issues, including recent trends and developments at the global and regional levels. Both agreed that the UN remained an indispensable institution for advancing dialogue, cooperation and pursuing collective solutions to global challenges.
Both sides also exchanged views and noted the convergence in the priorities being pursued by the UNGA president and the Pakistani government’s people-centric agenda.
The foreign minister briefed the visiting dignitary and conveyed Pakistan’s deep concern over the systematic human rights abuses in IOK while underscoring the need for the UN to ensure implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions. The two sides had useful discussions on the on-going process of UNSC reform and the need for this process to be led by member states and consensus-based way forward.
The foreign minister also briefed the UNGA president on steps taken by Pakistan to pursue a vision of partnership for peace and shared prosperity.
BISP IS A REVOLUTIONARY PROGRAMME:
A delegation of UN, led by UNGA President María Fernanda Espinosa, called on Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) Chairperson Dr Sania Nishtar on Friday.
The BISP chairperson gave a detailed briefing about the overall scope and operational aspects of the programme. She also gave a brief introduction about the recently-formed Poverty Alleviation and Coordination Council (PACC) by the present government, to synchronise all the state-run social protection programmes to synergies the efforts of different organisations.
The BISP chairperson emphasised the importance of the programme while correlating its significance with top five UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being quality education and gender equality.
Adding further, the BISP chairperson termed the social protection and poverty reduction as the foremost priority of the present government. She also shared that the programme is apolitical in nature and multifaceted to address the most vulnerable segment of society.
In her brief remarks, the UNGA president appreciated the warm welcome by the senior management of BISP. She also appreciated the work and effort being put in by the organisation at the national scale for poverty alleviation and socio-economic activities in the country.
Terming the programme as a “revolutionary programme”, she expressed that it is more of a complete strategy for poverty reduction, which will have surely far-reaching impact on the society.