In a meeting with the delegation of European Parliamentarians led by Jammu and Kashmir Self Determination Movement International (JKSDMI), Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen M Mazari drew their attention to the human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir and underlined the need to raise the issue of massive human rights violations against women in conflict zone and what is happening with women and children in IOK.

She urged the EU to play its due role to stop the atrocities and human rights violations being committed by the Indian security forces in the occupied Kashmir. She said International community should come forward to resolve the longstanding issue of Kashmir.

The delegation of European Parliamentarians called on the Human Rights Minister in Islamabad on Tuesday was comprised of Richard Corbett MEP, Leader of the Labour Party in Europe, Irina Von Wiese MEP, Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Raja Najabat Hussain, Chairman of JKSDMI, Shafaq Muhammad MEP, Yasmin Qureshi MP, Nazia Rehman MP and Lorraine Kirkwood. Besides Kamran Azam Khan, Joint Secretary Ministry of Human Rights, other high officials of the ministry were also present on the occasion.

The delegation was briefed by Joint Secretary Human Rights, Kamran Azam Khan about the steps which have been taken for the protection and promotion of human rights in the country. During the meeting they discussed the various human rights related issues including the right of women, children and minorities. Dr Mazari apprised the delation about the steps which have been taken for the protection and promotion of human rights in the country.

Talking to the delegation, the Minister said that we are committed to ensure the rights of every citizen without any prejudice. She said we have a comprehensive agenda and besides implementation of existing laws we are also working on new legislation to ensure the protection and provision of basic rights to every citizen. Talking to them, Shireen Mazari also showed her concerns about the issues and problems which Muslim community and Pakistani Diaspora have been facing in some states of Europe particularly in practicing their religion. She urged European Parliamentarians that they should come forward and raise voice against worst violations of basic rights in IOK.

We have given blue print of conflict resolution model for the solution of this longstanding issue, innocent kashmiri suffered a lot for attainment plebiscite, she said. Dr Mazari said India is trying to abrogate Article 370 which provides special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and Article 35-Aof the Indian constitution which will change the demography of Indian Occupied Kashmir. She said Pakistan continues to host refugees despite not being party to the Refugee Convention.

She said that developed countries should also open their doors to refugees. She said we are working on various Bills including Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Zainab Alert Bill, Domestic Workers Bill adding that we have legislation in various areas including the law for protection of rights of transgender. Dr Mazari said we are also working on creating awareness and in this regard Human Rights Ministry has started various awareness campaigns for women’s right to inheritance and provision of free legal aid to the women including the prevention of child abuse. She said we have introduced bill to protect the women’s right to inheritance in the parliament. Dr Mazari said we are also finalizing the bill to protect the rights of journalists. We are also building up MIS data base about human rights related issues.

Dr Mazari said we have started the first ever child labour survey in collaboration with UNICEF and it will be completed in next couple of months. She said that we are committed to ensure the protection of fundamental rights of our citizens guaranteed in our constitution. She said we are working on the issue of enforced disappearances and the bill has been drafted in consultation with all stakeholders and was sent to the Law Ministry.

She informed the delegation that Task Force have been formed to stop the forced conversions and said that we are committed to protect the minorities and all out efforts are being made to ensure the rights of minorities and their religious freedom. Dr Mazari said protection of human rights was the top most priority of incumbent government.

She said unlike in Europe, non Muslim communities in Pakistan have been provided their own laws, in this connection Hindu Divorce and Marriage law already implemented and Christian Divorce bill will was lying with the law ministry. Shireen Mazari said that steps have been taken to protect the rights of marginalized segment of society in order to bring them into the mainstream. The delegation appreciated the endeavors of incumbent government especially the Ministry of Human Rights for the Protection and promotion of Human Rights and assured his full support in this regard


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