At a United Nations Human Rights Council session this week, Israel implored Pakistan to address a series of human rights issues, including enforced disappearances, violence against peaceful protesters, and religious minority abuses.
The Council’s 53rd session in Geneva involved a review of a report on the human rights situation in Pakistan, sparking a discussion among attending nations, including Israel.
Israel’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Adi Farjon, voiced her nation’s deep concern over the current human rights situation in Pakistan. She highlighted the ongoing issues of enforced disappearances, violence against peaceful protesters and religious minorities, and other infringements on human rights.
“Israel is disappointed that all of its recommendations were merely noted during Pakistan’s fourth review,” Farjon expressed. Of the 340 recommendations for Pakistan, the country endorsed 253. The remaining 87, which included those from Israel, were only acknowledged without any commitment to action.
Israel’s recommendations suggested that Pakistan should make serious efforts to stop arbitrary arrests and violence, and put an end to the ill-treatment of its citizens. Israel called for the prosecution of offenders and the termination of the death penalty, particularly in cases involving minors and individuals with disabilities.
In addition, Israel called for Pakistan to normalize homosexuality, in accordance with international human rights standards, and establish comprehensive laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Farjon also commented on Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, stating, “In January 2023, the National Assembly of Pakistan approved a resolution to tighten the laws on blasphemy, which are often used to target religious and other minorities.”
The meeting was attended by Khalil Al-Rahman Hashmi, Pakistan’s future representative to the United Nations, and ambassadors from Egypt, Iran, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nepal, and Oman.