Tag Archives: United Nations

Pakistan welcomes OHCHR report on Kashmir

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights recently provided an Update of the Situation of Human Rights in Indian-Administered Kashmir and Pakistan-Administered Kashmir from May 2018 to April 2019. The report is based on information collected by OHCHR through monitoring the situation in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir (consisting of the Kashmir Valley, the Jammu and Ladakh regions) and Pakistan-Administered Kashmir (Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan). It is issued pursuant to the mandate of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, as provided by United Nations General Assembly resolution 48/141.

The report of the OHCHR was seen by India as “false and motivated narrative” that ignored “the core issue of cross-border terrorism.”

Pakistan welcomed the report. However, Pakistan requested that sections be removed or amended in which the information was “not specific to Pakistan-Administered Kashmir but were general human rights concerns affecting all of Pakistan.”

Israeli Settlements Have “No Legal Validity”

On 23 December 2016, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the adoption of a Security Council of Resolution 2334 (2016) which states that the establishment of Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, have “no legal validity,” constitute a “flagrant violation” under international law and are a “major obstacle” to a two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace. “The resolution is a significant step, demonstrating the Council’s much needed leadership and the international community’s collective efforts to reconfirm that the vision of two States is still achievable,” the UN chief’s spokesperson Continue reading

Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan on Pakistan’s Foreign Relations

We recently republished this classic, from our archives, in the Pakistan Horizon. In his piece, Sir Zafrulla Khan commented on the inadequacy of resources for the fledgling, refugee state of Pakistan but he was full of hope for the future of the country. As stated on his Wikipedia page, he was a Pakistani jurist and diplomat who served as first the foreign minister of Pakistan and the first Muslim, Asian and only Pakistani president for both the UN General Assembly and also the International Court of Justice. Born in Sialkot, British India, Khan was educated as a lawyer at GCU and King’s College and served as a member of Punjab Legislative Council between 1926 till 1931. He was a delegate in 1930, 1931, and 1932 to the Round Table Conferences on Indian reforms in London, England. An excellent paper by Victor Kattan entitled Decolonizing the International Court of Justice: The Experience of Judge Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan in the South West Africa Cases is well worth reading as well.

He became a member of the All-India Muslim League which led the Pakistan movement and served as the league’s president between 1931 and 1932. In 1935 he became the Minister of Railway of British India, and sat on the British Viceroy’s Executive Council as its Muslim member from 1935 to 1941. Continue reading

Syria: Partial Ceasefire Agreed

As reported, the US secretary of state, John Kerry, says the partial Syria ceasefire agreed at talks in Munich ‘will apply to any and all parties in Syria with the exception of the terrorist organisations Daesh and al-Nusra’. However, the Syrian Centre for Policy Research (SCPR) on Syria conflict finds that in all, 11.5% of the country’s population have been killed or injured since the crisis erupted in March 2011. The number of wounded is put at 1.9 million. Life expectancy has dropped from 70 in 2010 to 55.4 in 2015. Posts on Syria’s war are available on Pakistan Horizon here, here, herehere and here.

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Seven Ages of Hillary Clinton

Seven ages of Hillary Clinton, an excellent article by Gary Younge and Sabrina Siddiqui of the Guardian, can be extracted as follows. As she once again finds herself battling an outsider’s insurgency, the Democratic frontrunner hopes her long experience in public life is an asset, not a liability.  At a town hall meeting this week, the first question posed to Hillary Clinton was from a first-time caucus-goer called Taylor Gipple. Hillary Clinton defends popularity among young voters at Iowa forum. “It feels like there are a lot of young people like myself who are very passionate supporters of Bernie Sanders,” he said. “And, I just don’t see the same enthusiasm from younger people for you. In fact, I’ve heard from quite a few people my age that they think you’re dishonest, but I’d like to hear from you on why you feel the enthusiasm isn’t there.” Clinton’s response sounded like a mix of Edith Piaf and Sir Elton John: Je Ne Regrette Rien blended with I’m Still Standing; stern resolve with a touch of telegraphed theatricality. “Look, I’ve been around a long time,” she told him. “They throw all this stuff at me and I’m still standing. But if you’re new to politics, if it’s the first time you really paid attention, you go ‘oh my gosh, look at all of this’.

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IAEA: New Statutory Regulatory Order

Pakistan is one of nine states to possess nuclear weapons, and it is the only Muslim majority country to do so. Pakistan began development of nuclear weapons in January 1972 in the Bhutto era. Pakistan’s nuclear weapons development was in response to neighboring India’s development of its nuclear programme.  As of 2014, Pakistan has been reportedly developing smaller, more tactical nuclear weapons for potential use on the battlefield exclusively. This is consistent with earlier statements from a meeting of the National Command Authority (which directs nuclear policy and development) saying Pakistan is developing “a full-spectrum deterrence capability to deter all forms of aggression.” Communication of 30 September 2015 from the Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the Agency concerning the export control policies of the Government of Pakistan and a Statutory Regulatory Order. The Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was sent a communication dated 30 September 2015 from the Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the Agency attaching a note on ‘Pakistan Strategic Export Controls and Revised Control Lists’ and the Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO) 276 (I)/2015 amending Continue reading

PCA: Philippines v China

As noted in our PH post on president Xi’s meeting with his Taiwanese counterpart, on 22 January 2013, the Republic of the Philippines instituted arbitral proceedings against the People’s Republic of China under Annex VII to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (the “Convention”), “with respect to the dispute with China over the maritime jurisdiction of the Philippines in the West Philippine Sea.” Thus, the inter-state arbitration entitled The Republic of Philippines v The People’s Republic of China is pending in The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA). On 19 February 2013, China presented a Note Verbale to the Philippines in which it described “the Position of China on the South China Sea issues,” and rejected and returned the Philippines’ Notification. In its most recent (seventh) press release on 29 October 2015, the Tribunal Rendered Award on Jurisdiction and Admissibility and found that it will hold further hearings. The Tribunal constituted under Annex VII to the Convention in the arbitration instituted by the Republic of the Philippines against the People’s Republic of China has issued its Award on Jurisdiction and Admissibility. This arbitration concerns the role of “historic rights” and the source of maritime entitlements Continue reading

Indus Waters Treaty: Kishenganga Arbitration

On 19 September 1960, the Governments of the Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (the “Parties”) signed the Indus Waters Treaty 1960 (the “Treaty”). Notably, the Treaty was also signed by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (the “World Bank”) in respect of the World Bank’s role under certain provisions of the Treaty. Instruments of ratification were exchanged between the Parties on 12 January 1961; the Treaty entered into force on that date with retroactive effect to 1 April 1960, as stated in Article XII(2). On May 17, 2010, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan instituted arbitral proceedings against the Republic of India under Paragraph 2(b) of Annexure G to the Treaty. A Court of Arbitration composed of seven members has been constituted pursuant to Annexure G. The Permanent Court of Arbitration acted as Secretariat to the Court of Arbitration pursuant to Paragraph 15(a) of Annexure G. The Court of Arbitration was composed of: Judge Stephen M. Schwebel (Chairman), Sir Franklin Berman KCMG QC, Professor Howard S. Wheater FREng, Professor Lucius Caflisch, Professor Jan Paulsson, Judge Bruno Simma, H.E. Judge Peter Tomka. Having considered the Parties’ submissions, the Court of Arbitration unanimously decided: Continue reading

ICJ: Marshall Islands v Pakistan

Obligations concerning Negotiations relating to Cessation of the Nuclear Arms Race and to Nuclear Disarmament (Marshall Islands v Pakistan). As explained in the press release of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), 14 July 2015. The President of the ICJ, the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, by an Order dated 9 July 2015, has extended from 17 July 2015 to 1 December 2015 the time-limit for the filing of the Counter-Memorial of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on the questions of the jurisdiction of the Court and the admissibility of the Application in the case of Obligations concerning Negotiations relating to Cessation of the Nuclear Arms Race and to Nuclear Disarmament (Marshall Islands v Pakistan). The history of the proceedings can be found in the ICJ’s 2013-2014 Annual Report (paragraphs 214-218), which can be found on its website underThe Court/Annual Reports/2013-2014”. The full text of the Order of 9 July 2015 is available on the Court’s website under “Cases/Contentious Cases”. The ICJ is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. It was established by the United Nations Charter in June 1945 and began its activities in April 1946. The ICJ’s seat of the Court is at the Peace Palace in The Hague (Netherlands). Extension of the time-limit for the filing of Pakistan’s Counter-Memorial. Latest developments in the case: Continue reading