Pakistan rejects ‘unfair’ US report

State Department cites significant human rights abuses

Kamran Yousaf April 25, 2024
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad. PHOTO: FILE


In a harsh rebuke, Pakistan on Thursday accused Washington of “double standards” as it rejected the recently released country report on human rights practices.

The annual report, issued by the State Department on Wednesday, covered the human rights record of almost 200 countries and territories. The report on Pakistan was virtually a charge sheet as Washington accused Islamabad of committing a series of human rights offences.

The report noted that there was no change in the human rights situation in Pakistan in 2023. In a damning assessment, the US alleged that there were series of human rights violations observed in Pakistan, including extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture, lack of fair trial, persecution of minorities, etc.

But the Foreign Office categorically rejected the report. “The contents of the report are unfair, based on inaccurate information and completely divorced from the ground reality,” read a statement issued by the Foreign Office on Thursday.

“The US State Department’s annual exercises of preparing such unsolicited reports lack objectivity and remain inherently flawed in their methodology. These reports use a domestic social lens to judge human rights in other countries in a politically biased manner,” it noted.

Also read: US rights report on India cites abuses in Manipur, harassment of media and minorities

The statement further said this year’s report was once again conspicuous by its lack of objectivity and politicisation of the international human rights agenda. “It clearly demonstrates double standards thus undermining the international human rights discourse.”

“It is deeply concerning that a report purported to highlight human rights situations around the world ignores or downplays the most urgent hotspots of gross human rights violations such as in Gaza and Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir,” the Foreign Office said in a hard-hitting rejoinder to the US report.

“Only a politically-motivated report can ignore the alarming situation in Gaza, the weaponisation of humanitarian assistance and the massacre of over 33,000 civilians.”

The statement further said silence of the United States on the continuing genocide in Gaza runs counter to the stated objectives behind the so-called country reports on human rights.

It further said in line with its constitutional framework and democratic ethos, Pakistan remains steadfast in its commitment to strengthen its own human rights framework, constructively engage to promote international human rights agenda, and uphold fairness and objectivity in the international human rights discourse.

“If the US must engage in this exercise, then we expect the US State Department to at least exercise due diligence when conducting assessment of complex issues, demonstrate objectivity, impartiality and responsibility in finalizing such reports.”

The statement said: “It should demonstrate the requisite moral courage to speak truth about all situations and play a constructive role in supporting international efforts for bringing an end to atrocities in the most urgent hotpots of gross human rights violations.”


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