Federal Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood was unanimously elected as the president of UNESCO’s prestigious Education Commission in Paris.
Mahmood termed his election victory as an honour for Pakistan and an acknowledgement of his work in the field of education for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
He added that he would continue to pursue UNESCO’s objectives and will work closely with all delegations in a constructive manner in his capacity as the president of education commission.
Meanwhile, addressing the UNESCO General Conference Shafqat Mahmood drew the world’s attention towards dangerous trends where the intellectual, moral and legal basis for maintaining global peace is eroding, and education and cultural values being undermined.
The Minister cited the example of Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir as a manifestation of these dangerous trends, where over eight million Kashmiris have been locked down under curfew for more than a hundred days, with their basic human rights and fundamental freedoms being trampled with impunity.
He also highlighted that education is a large casualty there with around 1.5 million Kashmiri students being unable to go to school. He also expressed dismay at the decision of India’s highest court, which virtually condoned the destruction of centuries old Babri Mosque in Ayodhya.
In conclusion, he called upon UNESCO to exercise its moral authority in pressing the Indian Government to restore the fundamental rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and to resolve this international dispute as per UN Security Council resolutions.
The Minister’s statement was measured, bringing out facts that have already been widely documented by human rights organizations and international media. Importantly, it did not go beyond