Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO) Secretary General Ralph Bunche on Friday apprised the European Union (EU) about the deplorable conditions of minorities in Pakistan, highlighting that there has been very significant & long going issue of freedom of religion in Pakistan. Speaking to news agency ANI on the sidelines of an event during the ongoing 42nd session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, the UNPO Secretary General expressed hope that the EU will follow the lead of the United States and recognise Pakistan as a "huge violator of international religious freedom standards". He also added that he hopes that the EU takes action to make sure that Pakistan no longer gets appreciated from the general system of preferences program.
"I was speaking about religious freedom in Pakistan, especially Sindh. I highlighted that there has been very significant and long going issue of freedom of religion in Pakistan. In November 2018, the US Department of State designated Pakistan as a country of particular concern under International Religious Freedom Acts which puts it in the company of some horrible states in terms of religious freedom. One can’t ignore problems with religious extremism and persecution in Pakistan," Ralph Bunche told ANI.
The Imran Khan establishment in Pakistan has been facing the wrath of the international community for its crackdown on the minorities living in the country. The UNPO Secretary General also expressed concerns over the inaction of the European Union against Pakistan over religious restrictions. Speaking in the matter he said the EU is granting preferential trade treatment, even though the EU officials know that Pakistan does not comply with 27 international human rights conventions.
"European Union is not acting in the same way. In fact, it is going in another direction, it is granting Pakistan, a preferential trade treatment on the basis of finding that Pakistan complies with 27 international human rights conventions. Even though officials in the EU know very well it does not," he added.
On Tuesday, India exposed Pakistan's persecution of its minorities during the UNHRC session in Geneva. Vimarsh Aryan, First Secretary MEA spoke at UNHRC Session highlighting that Pakistan's rhetoric against India will not divert the world's attention against major human rights violations going on in the country. He spoke about the routine injustice taking place against the minorities of Pakistan, citing examples of the recent forced conversion of Sikh girl Jagjit Kaur, as well as the imprisonment of Christian Asiya Bibi and 82-year-old Ahmadiya Abdul Shakoor.
"Pakistan's gory record speaks for itself. This rhetoric will not distract international attention from Pakistan's persecution and elimination of ethnic minorities be it Christians, Sikhs, Ahmadia, Shias and Hindus. This is why Pakistan does not publish official statistics about its minorities as India does," Vimarsh Aryan had said.
(With ANI inputs)