We thank the Special Rapporteur and the Experts on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples for their valuable reports and briefings.
Pakistan considers all basic human rights to be inalienable, indivisible and interdependent and they must be equally guaranteed for all for ensuring ‘Human Dignity’.
The constitution of Pakistan guarantees fundamental rights for all without discrimination of any sort. All persons in Pakistan enjoy their right to freedom of thought, conscience, culture and religion, without any discrimination on any basis including gender, race, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin. Comprehensive legislation and their proper implementation is being carried out by State institutions both at the federal and provincial level. There is no bar on any caste, creed, linguistic and ethnic group for political participation at national, provincial or local level. Pakistan’s vibrant civil society, independent judiciary and open media act as watch dogs for their proper implementation. Pakistan’s National History and Literary Heritage Division are working on Intangible cultural Heritage (ICH). They have been working on promoting the culture and life style of the indigenous people from Kalash Valley by preparing documentaries and celebrating their festivals.
We urge the Special Rapporteur as well as the members of Expert mechanism to give equal attention to the rights of indigenous people in developing as well as developed countries. Particular attention needs to be given to the rights of indigenous peoples in developed countries who mostly live in remote and desolated areas with minimum standards of living, and have been deliberately discriminated against by local police as well as administration.
We would like the Special Rapporteur and Independent Experts to elaborate what in their view are the ways in which such discriminatory practices and policies, directed against the indigenous people, can be reversed to ensure that the indigenous people enjoy the same rights as all the other citizens.
I thank you.