Shafqat Mehmood elected president of UNESCO’s Education Commission
PARIS (92 News) – Minister for Education Shafqat Mehmood has been unanimously elected as the president of UNESCO's prestigious Education Commission in Paris. Speaking after the election, the minister termed it as an honor for Pakistan and an acknowledgement of its commitment to UNESCO's work in the field of education. Shafqat mehmood said being the president of UNESCO's Education Commission, he would work closely with all delegations in a constructive manner in pursuance of UNESCO’s objectives. The minister separately held bilateral meetings with Ministers of Education of Bangladesh, Norway and Tunisia. He also met assistant director generals of UNESCO for Education and Culture. Earlier, 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.