1.5mn Kashmiri students not able to attend schools: Shafqat tells UNESCO
PARIS (Web Desk) – Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood said that at least 1.5 million Kashmiri students were not able to attend schools since the unilateral and illegal revocation of Kashmir’s autonomy by India on 5th August.
The minister stated while delivering his country statement at the general policy debate of the 40th session of UNESCO’s General Conference held at headquarters in Paris, according to a statement issued by the ministry.
Shafqat Mahmood called upon UNESCO to use its moral authority to persuade Indian government to lift restrictions and restore the fundamental rights of the people of Indian Occupied Kashmir (IoK).
The minister observed that as opposed to the UNESCO’s objectives of universal respect for justice and rule of law and respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms, over eight million Kashmiris have been locked down under a curfew since 100 days with no access to basic amenities and means of communication, read the statement.
Shafqat said that Kashmir remains an internationally recognized disputed area under UN Security Council resolutions and stressed that UNESCO and the international community must raise their voice for its just resolution.
The minister also expressed dismay at the Indian Supreme Court’s decision regarding Babri Mosque stating that it was not in line with UNESCO’s values of religious freedom & protection of religious and cultural sites.
Inauguration of Kartarpur Corridor
Recalling the recent inauguration of Kartarpur Corridor between India and Pakistan, he said that this was a testimony of Pakistan’s commitment to interfaith harmony and promoting peace in the region.
The minister said that current government was taking concrete steps to deliver universal quality and equitable education with focus on four key priorities; a uniform education system, enrollment of out of school children, teacher quality enhancement and technical and vocational training.