Washington [US], November 8 (ANI): Pakistan's presence in the United Nations Human Rights Council is "intolerable" given its rights record, said Geneva-based NGO UN Watch, adding that religious minorities in the south Asian country suffer from discrimination, sectarian violence and forced conversions.
The NGO's, that monitors the performance of the United Nations, condemnation comes after Pakistan government defended the beheading of a French teacher in Paris by an Islamic terrorist by claiming that the blasphemy in the garb of freedom of expression is 'intolerable'.
French President Emmanuel Macron has been facing criticism from various Muslim-majority countries after he took a tough stand on radical Islam and defended cartoons of Prophet Muhammad.
Macron's remarks did not go well with Pakistan Prime Minister Khan who slammed the French President, saying that he has "chosen to deliberately provoke Muslims".
In a reply to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's remark 'Blasphemy in the garb of freedom of expression is intolerable', the UN watch said: "Your presence on the U.N. Human Rights Council is intolerable."
In another tweet, the UN Watch shared a statement dated September 28 where it has presented its views against the election of Pakistan in the rights council. In October, Pakistan was re-elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council despite opposition from activist groups over its abysmal human rights records.
Blasphemy laws are exploited to attack and persecute members of religious minorities, particularly Christians, the document stated.
"Religious minorities in Pakistan suffer from discrimination, sectarian violence and
forced conversions. A Christian mother of five, Asia Bibi spent eight years on death row in Pakistan for blasphemy after she got into a dispute with local Muslim women over a cup of water. Two Pakistani politicians were killed for supporting her," read the document.
The NGO had pointed out Pakistan ranks in the bottom 20 per cent of the Reporters Sans Frontiers (RSF) world press freedom index.
Pakistani children are subjected to multiple forms of violence and abuse including
exploitative labour practices, sexual abuse and child marriage, the NGO had stated in the document.
"According to the United Nations Children's Fund, Pakistan has the sixth-highest number of child brides in the world. Human Rights Watch (HRW) reports that "an average of 11 cases of child sexual abuse are reported daily across Pakistan," including of girls as young as 5. Furthermore, child labour remains a serious problem, including the sale of children into domestic servitude and kidnapping," the NGO stated. (ANI)