Ahead of a mandatory United Nations review of Pakistan’s human rights record this Monday, January 30, a report by a human rights group has exposed 10 false claims in the country’s submission to the 47-nation Human Rights Council.
“Pakistan’s submission to the UN about its human rights record is filled with lies,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based UN Watch, an independent non-governmental human rights organization.
“Our report documents 10 false claims, and we call on the UN Human Rights Council on Monday to hold the Pakistani regime’s representatives to account for their misinformation,” said Neuer.
“The UN must urge Pakistan’s military-dominated regime to put an end to torture, enforced disappearances, child labor, and violence against women, and to stop crushing independent media, censoring Facebook and Twitter, persecuting Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Shia, and Ahmadis, hosting terrorist groups, and backing China’s persecution of Muslim Uighurs.”
Following are some of most absurd claims in Pakistan’s submission to the UN, contrasted with the reality.
1. On Pakistani respect for democracy and fundamental freedoms
Pakistan’s Claim: “As a vibrant democracy, Pakistan will continue to uphold fundamental freedoms including meeting people’s needs and providing an enabling environment for the continued exercise their rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association.”
Reality: Pakistan is ranked “Partly Free” by Freedom House with a numerical score of 37/100, meaning that it is not a “free democracy.” This ranking is attributed to various factors including the influence of the military, attacks by Islamist militants, and restrictions on civil liberties. In December 2021, a number of UN experts condemned the military court conviction of human rights defender and minority civil society activist Idris Khattak. The experts asserted that Khattak’s arrest and conviction was “part of an alarming pattern of silencing human rights defenders and outspoken civil society leaders.”
2. On media freedom
Pakistan’s Claim: “Pakistan values the role of free media…”
Reality: Reporters without Borders