Israel’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Adi Farjon, expressed concern about the human rights situation in Pakistan during the UN Human Rights Council session last month, according to statements translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
Farjon spoke about issues such as enforced disappearances, torture, and oppression of peaceful protests. She also expressed concern about Pakistan’s blasphemy law, claiming that the blasphemy law is often used to target and persecute religious and minority groups.
"Israel remains deeply concerned about the overall human rights situation in Pakistan where enforced disappearances, torture, crackdowns on peaceful protests, and violence against religious minorities and other marginalized groups remain prevalent... Israel believes that it is essential that Pakistan heed our recommendations to take all appropriate steps to prevent arbitrary arrests, torture, and other ill-treatment and bring perpetrators of such acts to justice,” Farjon said.
"Israel also urges Pakistan to decriminalize same-sex activities in accordance with international human rights standards and to adopt a comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation that addresses discrimination, including based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Israel is also concerned that in January 2023 Pakistan's National Assembly passed a vote to tighten its blasphemy laws which are often used to target and prosecute religious and other minority groups.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan dismissed Israel’s concerns and accused Israel of oppressing Palestinians, stating that Pakistan does not require advice on protecting human rights.
Pakistani politicians resort to anti-semitism
Many Pakistani politicians responded negatively to Farjon’s statements. Climate change minister Sherry Rehman stated that Israel’s criticism of Pakistan’s human rights situation was a result of support for PTI, Pakistan Movement for Justice led by Imran Khan.
She alleged that Israel was colluding with Pakistan’s enemies and agents who express hostility towards Palestinians, Muslims, and Kashmiris and linked Israel’s statements as the UN with protests that occurred in Pakistan on May 9, 2023 following the arrest of Imran Khan.
"When did Israel become a champion of human rights? The killer of Palestinians has stood up in support of Imran Khan."
"No former prime minister has engaged in enmity against the country as Imran Khan has done. After failing to get America to criticize [the government of Shehbaz Sharif], Imran Khan has brought Israel to the front,” Rehman said.
“Supporting PTI and Imran Khan Niazi from the forum of the United Nations proves who is behind the events of May 9; their links are connecting to the country's enemies. These are the people behind the atrocities on the Muslim Ummah's oppressed nations of Kashmir and Palestine."
Khan has also made antisemitic and anti-Israel statements and posted a Tweet criticizing Israel shortly after Farjon’s statement.
Absolutely shameful how Israel with the worst record along with India of human rights violations as an Occupation force against Palestinians in Occupied territory, had the audacity to target Pakistan. UPRs are an essential part of UN functioning and Pakistan has never been…— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) July 13, 2023
Adi Farjon’s comments did not mention Imran Khan.