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United Nations condemns attacks on minorities in Pakistan

Islamabad, March 12, 2013 (PPI-OT): The United Nations firmly condemns the on-going violence in the country, particularly the recent tragic events in Quetta, Karachi and this past weekend in Lahore, targeting especially religious and ethnic minorities in Pakistan.

The United Nations system in Pakistan joins the Secretary-General to convey heartfelt condolences to the families of all the victims and to the people of Pakistan. “All human beings have equal right to life irrespective of diversities and differences in religious or political beliefs. It is alarming that in one year hundreds of Pakistanis belonging to different minority groups have been killed which is denial of right to life and disrespect of humanity” said Timo Pakkala, United Nations Resident Coordinator, in a statement today in Islamabad.

Pakistan has ratified several Human Rights international treaties, which include minorities’ rights. Article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) establishes and recognizes the rights of minorities to enjoy their own culture and to profess and practice their own religion.

Moreover, the Preamble and the Article 36 of the Constitution of Pakistan clearly safeguards rights of minorities. In the face of the recent attacks on religious and ethnic minorities in Pakistan, the United Nations Secretary-General has called for swift and determined action against those claiming responsibility and perpetrating such actions. The United Nations reiterates its strong support for efforts by the Government and people of Pakistan to protect religious and ethnic minorities.

“Pakistan is embarking on an important political transition that people hope will help realize their aspirations towards a stable, prosperous and democratic Pakistan. The gains that the country has made in recent years in many areas in human rights must not be put in jeopardy by the intolerance of a few.

The United Nations urges the Government and all political parties to accelerate efforts to build harmony and peace among different sections of society and take concrete measures to protect the existence and identity of ethnic, cultural and religious minorities in Pakistan,” Pakkala said.

For more information, contact:
Ms. Ishrat Rizvi
National Information Officer
United Nations Information Centre (UNIC)
Tel: +9251 835 5720
Cell: +92300 855 3790
Email: ishrat.rizvi@unic.org

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