At meeting of the UN Security Council in New York today (Tuesday), Pakistan will defend its position against allegations that its troops had violated the UN Security Council Resolution 1325, which calls on all parties to an armed conflict to protect women against all forms of abuses.
An official source privy to the development, told Pakistan Today that some NGOs had alleged that Pakistani troops fighting outlaws in troubled areas had violated the provisions of the UNSC Resolution 1325 and called upon the world body to take notice of these violations.
The source said Pakistan’s ambassador to the UN would represent it while some NGOs including Potohar Organisation for Development Advocacy and Aurat Foundation had also been invited to the “Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security”.
The official said the country’s civil and military leadership on one side and the NGOs on the other side would be attending the meeting, with conflicting views on the issue. Senior army officials denied the allegations while the NGOs believed that the troops had violated the UNSC Resolution.
In a recently held meeting attended by the representatives of the Foreign Office, military, ministries of Interior, Women Development and NGOs, the Foreign Office declared the subject a ‘no-go-area’ for others including the NGOs and asked them to leave the issue for them to tackle it at the international forum, the source said.
He said in the meeting, the military authorities challenged the allegations and admonished the NGOs for “playing in the hands of foreign actors who wanted to tighten the noose around Pakistan under one or the other pretext”. The source said authorities had earlier differed with the UN on the definition of ‘conflict zone’ and ‘conflict situation’.
They were of the view that the operation launched against the outlaws was a security and law and order issue so it could not be declared a conflict situation.
The government believes the recent demand made at various workshops organised by the UNIFEM that Pakistan needs to sensitise its security forces for responding to gender issues during conflicts and crises, both at home and abroad is also part of the plan to pressurize Pakistan on the issue.
UNIFEM Executive Director Ines Alberdi is expected to visit Pakistan in the last week of November. During her visit, she will be engaged in high-level discussions with the prime minister, the National Assembly speaker, the foreign and defence ministers and the chairwoman of the National Commission on the Status of Women to discuss this issue.