MoHR Press Release Dated: 20-02-2019 Islamabad: Delegation of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association United Kingdom (CPA UK) branch to Pakistan led by the Ms. Naz Shah, member of the Parliament has called on the Federal Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari here in Islamabad on Wednesday. They discussed the bilateral relations between the two countries UK and Pakistan. The delegation was comprised of Sayeeda Hussain Warsi, Faisal Rashid, Angela Crawley, Lord Roghan, Jon Davies and Ms Umamah Basit.
MoHR Press Release February 20, 2019. Islamabad: Strategic Studies Institute Islamabad (SSII) hosted a roundtable discussion on “The Changing International Strategic Environment” on Wednesday. The objective of the discussion was to provide insight on important issues related to the evolving global strategic environment. The participants included students from various universities in Islamabad as well as the KP province. Speaking on the occasion, Federal Minister for Human Rights, Dr. Shireen M. Mazari gave an overview of the world order in the post-Cold War era. She argued that after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, NATO’s role became redundant in global politics. To give a rationale for its existence, NATO started out-of-area operations -Afghanistan being a key example of this. Dr Mazari emphasised that currently, the principle of “Coalitions of the Willing” was being applied to allow direct intervention by certain states, thereby bypassing the UNSC. She argued that there is another parallel system led by the US, in which exists a system of “Core States” enabling“the US to pursue its strategic interests through its strategic alliances”. While discussing the situation in the Middle East and West Asia, Dr.Mazari referred to Ralph Peter’s article titled: “Blood Borders” that was published in the June 2006 issue of the US Armed Forces Journal. Peter’s, predicted that powerful Muslim states would be weakened and ultimately broken up – a phenomenon that has in fact been unfolding in the Middle East. In the post-9/11 era came the Greater Middle East Initiative GMEI, or Broader Middle East Initiative BMEI which claimed to promote liberal democracy and freedom of speech in these Muslim states, and resulted in the Arab Spring. However, there is still great instability in the region which has resulted in weakened Arab states. This instability created a power vacuum which further strengthened non-state actors and is reflected most clearly in the rise of militant groups including Daesh. Dr. Mazari reiterated that Pakistan’s geostrategic location, and the evolving global strategic environment greatly affects Pakistan. India’s strategic partnership with the US and Israel along with their cooperation on the development of India’s BMD system poses a threat to Pakistan’s national security. Pakistan has various options and opportunities in the current international system. It has a pivotal position in the current Afghan peace process and it can bring the regional players to the negotiating table. Dr.Mazari also highlighted that with the recent visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to Pakistan, the nature of cooperation between the KSA and Pakistan has changed. The signing of bilateral agreements means the state-to-state relationship has strengthened. She also stressed that escalating conflict in the Arab world would not be in Pakistan’s interest and therefore, Pakistan can still play the role of a mediator between Iran and the Arab states. Dr.Mazari argued that the recent Pulwama incident in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) has once again brought the Kashmir issue into global focus. Pakistan can utilise this opportunity and ask the international community for a criminal tribunal to look into war crimes perpetrated by Indian forces in IOK.In light of the evolving international strategic environment, Pakistan must adopt a proactive stance to combat regional challenges and adjust its policies. She said Pakistan to move more actively to highlight Indian war crimes in IOK globally adding that we need to be more active to project Kashmir issue and demanding Kashmir resolutions. She said we have to deal with military strategic partnership between India and US. She said the signatories of NPT have itself violated the NPT by signing civil military deals with India. Dr Mazari said that we cannot roll out any military misadventure from Modi’s administration, if it happens, we will respond with full force. In the end, an interactive question answer session was also conducted in which students asked different questions which were responded by the Dr Mazari.
MoHR Press Release Dated: 19-02-2019 Islamabad: Delegation led by Lord Ahmad, member of Parliament of UK and Prime Minister’s Special Representative has called on the Federal Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen M Mazari here in Islamabad on Tuesday. Besides Thomas Drew, British High Commissioner to Pakistan other high officials were also present on the occasion. Different matters related to human rights issues including the rights of women, children and minorities were discussed. Federal minister apprised the delegation about the steps taken by Ministry of human rights for the protection of human rights. On this occasion, Minister said we are committed to ensure the basic rights of our citizens in pursuance to our Constitution and International commitments. She said besides implementation of existing laws we are also working on devising new legislations to safeguard the rights of citizens. She said Human Rights Ministry has started awareness campaigns for women’s right to inheritance and provision of free legal aid to the women including the awareness drive against child abuse. Lord Ahmad appreciated the efforts of government of Pakistan especially the Human Rights Ministry for protection of human rights.
MoHR Press Release Dated: 19-02-2019 Islamabad: Federal Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen M Mazari has said that any misadventure by Indian forces would be responded with even greater force and strength adding that India has continuously violated United Nations’ resolutions on Indian occupied Kashmir and Indian security forces are committing state terrorism in IOK and jeopardizes the peace of whole region. She said International community should raise their voice against human rights violations in IOK and stop the Indian brutalities in the Kashmir Valley. The extremist ideology of Hindutva has found new face and feet under BJP’s leadership, revealing the state’s true face while unravelling its claim of secularism in the process. In India the lower caste Hindus and minorities like Sikhs, Muslims, Christians and were being discriminated and treated as inferior citizens of state. Indian claims of secularism unravelling under Modi’s regime, she added. The thoughts were shared by Dr Shireen Mazari, Federal Minister for Human Rights, while addressing the international seminar ‘Hindutva Policies and the State of Minorities in India’ on Tuesday. The full-day program, organized by Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), Islamabad, was addressed alongside Dr Mazari by Pakistani Dallit leader Senator Engr. Gianchand, Dr Akis Kalaitzidis (USA), Dr Nitasha Kaul (UK), Murtaza Shibli (from Indian Occupied Kashmir), Dr Mujeeb Afzal, Amb (r) Jalil Abbas Jillani, Amb (r) Zamir Akram, Dr Waqar Masood and Dr Asma Khwaja. Addressing the seminar, the Human Rights Minister also criticised UN’s role over Kashmir’s issue, maintaining that while UN resolutions for East Timor were identical to the ones on Kashmir, the later was being neglected in execution merely for being a Muslim minority. The plight of Muslims of Indian held Kashmir, according to Dr Mazari, was particularly a major concern for Pakistan where the Kashmiri struggle of independence was being repressed by all means giving it a color of religious extremism issue, whereas in reality it was about the struggle for their right of self-determination. Even as per the UN resolutions, the federal minister said, Indian Held Kashmir was an occupied state, and from the ongoing suppression to the attempts of changing the region’s demographics, everything that was being done in Indian Occupied Kashmir should be seen as a war crime. We need to reiterate that India is committing war crimes in IOK adding that Indian forces used systematic women rape as weapon of war. Human Rights Minister said that “Indian forces are committing grave human rights violations and state terrorism in occupied Kashmir to suppress the freedom movement of innocent Kashmiri people”. She said that “the internal situation of India is also deteriorating day by day and the minorities are not safe in India as well”. She lamented that the world has turned a blind eye to Indian human rights abuses in Kashmir, which reflects hypocrisy on the part of countries that talk about human rights and democracy. The violations are being highlighted by international organisations, despite all this evidence, adding that why the world is silent on human rights violations in IOK. Dr Shireen Mazari said India has continuously violated United Nations’ resolutions on Kashmir and Indian security forces are committing “state terrorism” in the region. She added that Indian forces “committing human rights violations” in the valley will not be able to suppress the freedom movement of the Kashmiri people. “India is escalating tension in the region,” said Mazari, adding that, New Delhi is resorting to Pulwama incident to divert attention from the upcoming elections in the country. Mazari further said that India has always “jeopardised peace of the region through its aggressive measures”. The minister said instead of fanning provocation, India should pay attention towards resolving the issues being faced by its people. “Kashmir is not a dispute not just between two countries, but it is an international dispute as it lies with UN Security Council.” Executive President of IPS Khalid Rahman, in his opening note, presented the context of the seminar maintaining that the need of studying the rising phenomenon of Hindutva had increased manifold under the present Indian regime. A book titled Hindutva: Rising Extremism in India, documenting the speeches and papers on the same topic presented by the speakers in a similar international seminar held last, was also launched and presented to Dr Mazari during the session.
MoHR Press Release Islamabad February 12, 2019: Ministry of Human Rights has started an awareness campaign to prevent child abuse on Tuesday. In his regard, Federal Minister for human rights Dr. Shireen Mazari visited the Islamabad College of Arts and Sciences in Islamabad and addressed the students against child abuse and shared suggestions to eradicate it. On this occasion, some short documentaries were also shown to the student to give them awareness and to take different preventive measures. Addressing the students, Federal Minister Dr Mazari said that child abuse has rampaged the society and on daily basis we observe different heart wrenching issues of child abuses but it is a painful fact that we treat this issue as social taboo and we become reluctant to speak about it and to educate our children. As a result they are not able to understand the sensitivity of this issue. On the contrary, we need to make it a shameful act for the culprits which demand us to expose it, she added. She said that child abuse could be happen even at home and a child can be victimized by his/her own relatives but lack of awareness makes this situation more worst. She said that we need to take this issue seriously which requires us to recognize this issue and the parents should be open be with their children while informing them about child abuse and how they can take some preventive measures to lead a safe life. Federal Minister said that Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Child Protection Act already exits to ensure the protection of children and we are going to establish Child protection commission under the umbrella of ICT Act. Federal Minister said that besides, acts and their implementation, awareness is an important element to consider which could be more beneficial to fight against this abuse along with acts. Federal Minister said that education institutions can play an undeniable role to prevent child abuse and to educate students which would help them to identify the issue and to save themselves at first stage. She stressed that we can use the platform of the schools to give the counseling to our students. Dr. Shireen Mazari further expressed that teachers’ role is undeniable in this regard and they can render this service to teach students about this abuse. In this regard, teachers can pay attention to the counseling which is very significant and impetrative. Teachers should give awareness in the classes about child abuse so that kids could be able to identify if someone attempts to abuse them adding that parents should also educate their children. She shared that Ministry of Human Rights is running its Child protection center which provides the facilities of free education, counseling and free medical treatment to the children. In addition, Ministry of human rights has established helpline 1099 to report issues related to human rights abuses including the child abuse and Ministry would take action against culprits and will utilize all efforts to support the child and to ensure the punishment of culprit. In the end, an interactive question answer session was also conducted in which students asked different relevant questions which were responded by Federal Minister. Besides Principal of ICT, large number of faculty members and students attended the awareness session.