PARADOXES and contradictions often dominate the narrative in international realpolitik, which stands proved once again with the election of countries like China and Pakistan -- with dismal human rights records -- as members of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). These elections have angered many countries whose leaderships and human rights lobbies have wondered if the UNHRC has become irrelevant. United States Secretary of State Mr. Mike Pompeo did not mince words while blasting the system that saw China, Pakistan (and even Russia) getting elected to the world human rights body. He said, the American withdrawal from the UNHRC in 2018, thus, stood fully justified. Many other countries, too, have made similar observations and have questioned the purpose of existence of the world body. It is obvious that with its savage repression of the people of Tibet for years, its incarceration of more than a million Muslim persons of all ages and genders for years, and its deliberate, planned killing of countless numbers of people and for using the carcasses for trafficking of human organs, China holds a terrible record on human rights front.
Despite much international pressure, the Chinese authorities have cared a damn for finer principles that generally govern civil societies. Even in the current coronavirus pandemic, China is earning a lot of global blame for two reasons -- one for unleashing the deadly virus from one of its military laboratories; and also for suppressing the news of coronavirus spreading at a menacing pace. No matter the denials of China about the coronavirus spread etc, the world believes that it was in China that the current scourge began and is now devastating the world. Pakistan, too, is in a similar league that never cares for protection of human rights. Even though Pakistan has often used the platform of the UNHRC to denigrate India in international realpolitik, the world knows that Islamabad’s human rights record is almost as dismal as that of China, its all-weather ally.
The rapid pace at which minorities have been physically eliminated in Pakistan in the past seventy years, the deliberate neglect of people’s health in whole of Pakistan including illegally Occupied-Kashmir are terrible examples of how Islamabad has often trampled upon its own people’s human rights. The world shivers when it thinks of how minorities, especially Hindus, have been reduced to a mere 2 per cent from their original population-percentage of plus 23 per cent at the time of Pakistan’s formation. No matter the appeals to sanity, the Pakistani authorities have continued its repressive practices to afflict religious and ethnic minorities for decades. And despite all this, Pakistan has often found a good footing at the United Nations Human Rights Council for years.
It is this paradox and contradiction that is bothering the world. The unfortunate fact that countries like China and Pakistan can get elected to the human rights world body hurts the people around the world in an unfathomable measure. Pakistan has often used the UNHRC forum to push fake narratives about human rights violation particularly in Kashmir -- whose actual record on that front is absolutely without any blemish. This paradox, therefore, is pushing many countries to question the relevance of the UNHRC. But then, it cannot be denied that various UN bodies have often been misused and abused by member-nations, so much so that India has been pushing for core reforms at the UN so as to make the world forum more inclusive and more representative in nature -- well beyond realpolitik. The issues India has raised from time to time about the relevance of the UN and its frontal organisations in the present formats, therefore, has won global attention. India has never shied away from raising the issues again and again for the simple purpose of trying to cleanse the UN systems and make those more representative in nature.