We appreciate the Special Rapporteur for presenting his report.
- Pakistan has been at the forefront of global efforts in combating colonialism and racial discrimination and played a lead role in the elaboration of ICERD. Pakistan has been ranked as one of the least racist countries in the world, according to a report in the Washington Post.
- We believe that the world is being faced by myriad of contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerances. Those who want to divide us have picked up new arenas ranging from vilification of religious communities to the targeting of ethnic minorities. At one end they create atmosphere of mistrust and fear of the other, and at the other end they create political discourse based on hatred and blaming others including migrants for all their social and economic problems.
- The recent upsurge in hate speech and Islamophobia is a matter of grave concern for all of us.
- The contemporary problems are there, it is up to us to act accordingly. We must unite together and promote once again the discourse of unity in diversity. The Special Rapporteur has rightly pointed out the adverse impact of hate speech and incitement to violence being carried on social media and internet, and therefore it would be an important issue for the mandate.
- Pakistan has taken serious steps domestically to combat racial discrimination, hate speech and xenophobia including:
- Loud speakers have been banned to discourage the hate speech ;
- The National Plan of Action for Human Rights covers wide range of issues for the promotion and protection of all human rights and enhancing harmony among all people;
- The Government of Pakistan, in collaboration with its partners is imparting human rights education and training in Military and Police Academies;
- Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority ensures that all programmes and advertisements shall not contain or encourage violence, terrorism, racial, ethnic or religious discrimination, or other material offensive to commonly accepted standards of decency.
I thankyou Mr. President.