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Itself guilty of human rights violation, Pakistan points fingers at India in UNGA
1/25/2021 11:18:31 PM
Ankush Verma

On the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) conducted on 21 January of this year, itself guilty of human rights violations on its land- of its people- Pakistan pointed its fingers accusing India on minority rights issues. Though the UNGA adopted a resolution, co-sponsored by Pakistan, condemning damage and destruction of religious sites across the word. But ironically, Pakistan ignored the facts that how very recently in December 2020, a historic Hindu temple was attacked and set on fire by a mob in the town of Karak in Pakistan with explicit support and connivance with the law enforcement agencies which, stood as mute spectators while the historic temple was being razed.
It is no longer hidden from the world how Pakistan treats its minorities and also Muslims living in the region of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK).
Today, the world knows that Pakistan Occupied Kashmir is a land of strict curbs on political pluralism, freedom of expression, and freedom of association; a muzzled press; banned books; arbitrary arrest and detention and torture at the hands of the Pakistani military and the police; and discrimination against refugees from Jammu and Kashmir state. Pakistan has also singled out Kashmiri nationalists who do not support the idea of Kashmir’s accession to Pakistan.
Anyone who wants to take part in public life has to sign a pledge of loyalty to Pakistan, while anyone who publicly supports or works for an independent Kashmir is persecuted. For those expressing independent or unpopular political views, there is a pervasive fear of Pakistani military and intelligence services-and of militant organizations acting at their behest or independently.
On the other hand, the minorities in India are equal citizens and thus, have equality before law.
The Constitution of India tried to satisfy the hope, aspirations and desire of the minorities by safeguarding their religious, cultural and educational rights. Being a secular nation India, gives equal dignity and respect to all religions. Muslims are the principal minority in India. Today, Muslims constituted about 15% of India’s total population with majority in Lakshadweep and Jammu and Kashmir.
Muslim communities have been given equal chances in employment and education and they also have achieved wealth and political power. From academia to administration, from politics to protection, from sports to cinema Muslims in India have excelled in all walks of life.
Indian Constitution with its vision to secure to all its citizen justice, liberty equality and fraternity so provided the rights for the minorities. Thus, the Fundamental Right Chapter in Part III of our Constitution specifically provides vide Articles 25 to 30 the various rights and privileges for the minorities. Article 25 guarantees Right to Freedom of Religion which reads like freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion. Freedom of conscience connotes a person’s right to entertain beliefs and doctrines concerning matters, which are regarded by him to be conducive to his spiritual well-being.
The right is not only to entertain such religious beliefs as may be approved by his judgment or conscience but also to exhibit his sentiments in overt acts as are enjoined by his religion. To profess a religion means the right to declare freely and openly one’s faith.
A person may propagate freely his religious views for the edification of others. Article 26 guarantees Freedom to manage religious affairs. It provides the right to establish and maintain institutions for religious and charitable purposes; to manage its own affairs in matters of religion; to own and acquire movable and immovable property; and to administer such property in accordance with law. Article 27 guarantees Freedom as to payment of taxes for promotion of any particular religion. Article 27 reads – No person shall be compelled to pay any taxes, the proceeds of which are specifically appropriated in payment of expenses for the promotion or maintenance of any particular religion or religious denomination.
Article 29 guarantees Cultural and Educational Rights. It talks about Protection of interests of minorities that any section of the citizens residing in the territory of India or any part thereof having a distinct language, script or culture of its own shall have the right to conserve the same and no citizen shall be denied admission into any educational institution maintained by the State or receiving aid out of State funds on grounds only of religion, race, caste, language or any of them. Article 30 guarantees Right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions.
It reads that all minorities, whether based on religion or language, shall have the right to set up and administer educational institutions of their choice; in making any law providing for the compulsory acquisition of any property of an educational institution established and administered by a minority, referred to in clause (1), the State shall ensure that the amount fixed by or determined under such law for the acquisition of such property is such as would not restrict or abrogate the right guaranteed under that clause; the State shall not, in granting aid to educational institutions, discriminate against any educational institution on the ground that it is under the management of a minority, whether based on religion or language.
This rejects Pakistan’s blame that India is ill-treating its minorities. Indian Constitution also provides protection against any kind of discrimination and equality of opportunity due to which Muslims in India, have earned name and fame and have represented India at many platforms as well.
But if you look closely a non-Muslim Pakistani or a resident of Pakistani Occupied Kashmir today is not allowed to hold the highest offices in the state. Whereas in India, Muslims have headed the country on many occasions.
Imran khan now and then raise the fingers at India but he simply cannot take on the army or the ulema to address the institutionalised discrimination against the minorities, nor their general exploitation and maltreatment. It points fingers at India’s treatment of minorities but it itself is guilty of the same crime.
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