ISLAMABAD: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour has said Pakistan is playing an important role in the UN human rights system. Addressing a news conference in Islamabad on Friday, she said Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) can made a positive contribution at this critical juncture in Pakistan’s transition to democracy. Louise Arbour said she had a series of very positive and wide-ranging meetings with President Pervez Musharraf, Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani and Law Minister as well as with representatives of civil society.
She welcomed that the new Pakistan Government has expressed willingness to work with OHCHR. She said this is an incredibly challenging period of Pakistan’s history as it attempts to manage its transition to democracy and balance and stabilize its key state institutions. It is simultaneously grappling with global economic difficulties and standing on the front line in the global fight against terrorism.
She said she deeply impressed by the historic mobilization of Pakistan’s civil society including the lawyers movement, human rights activists, political parties and trade unions in defence of democracy and the rule of law. She said an independent judiciary is a fundamental corner-stone of a functioning democratic society. She welcomed the commitment of all parties to find a solution of judicial crisis and urged them to reach a consensus as soon as possible. To a question about peace deals with militant groups, Louise Arbour said these should not be at the cost of surrendering the obligations of the government to protect human rights.-SANA