Pakistan wins UNHRC seat, Baloch activists express deep concern

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Pakistan on Monday won a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) by more than two thirds vote when the General Assembly elected 15 countries to serve on the 47-member body.

Pakistan was elected for the term 2018-20. The election in the 193-member Assembly was by secret ballot, with a simple majority required.

Pakistan polled 151 votes, when 97 were needed.

“Pakistan is humbled by and grateful for the overwhelming support it received from the world community. The election is a ringing endorsement of Pakistan’s strong commitment to human rights,” Pakistan’s Representative to UN, Maleeha Lodhi was quoted by Daily Pakistan, as saying.

“Pakistan’s membership to this council demonstrates a strong vote of confidence of the international community in our role and contribution to the national and global human rights agenda,” The Tribune quoted Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria as saying.

There were five candidates contesting for four Asia-Pacific seats on the Council. Apart from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal and Qatar also won seats on the Council. Malaysia, with 129 vote, could not get elected.

Baloch activists concerned:

On other hand, the news came as a surprise to many activists around the world and specially in Balochistan, where Pakistan is engaged in a brutal war against Baloch pro-freedom forces.

Baloch activists have expressed deep concerns on Pakistan’s election. Faiz Baluch, a Baluch activist and online campaigner, tweeted:

Ezzat Baloch, the secretary general of Baloch Students Organisation – Azad whose many student members have been killed at the hands of Pakistani state forces, tweeted:

Another active twitter activist tweeted:

@BalaachMarri was referring to the body of Sabzal Baloch, an activist of BNM, who was taken away by Pakistani state forces. His dead body was later found hanging on a tree.


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