With becoming a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Pakistan can effectively promote its soft image in the world, when the country is facing global isolation. Gaining membership of the UNHRC with overwhelming votes, 151, indicates that Pakistan has reinvigorated its efforts in becoming a key actor in the global affairs. The Human Rights Council is a UN body, made up of 47 states, responsible for promoting and protecting human rights all over the world.

As a member of the said UN body, there are obligations and duties that Pakistan is bound to fulfill. While it is welcoming that Pakistan has become a member of the UN body for the promotion of human rights, Islamabad needs to protect the rights of its own citizens first. Islamabad’s own record on treaties that it has ratified is not satisfactory. It is the right opportunity for Pakistan to work on the protection of human right within and without Pakistan.

Pakistan can play an important role in protection and promotion of human rights using the platform of UNHRC, by finding solutions to refugee crisis that is unsolved. Finding political solutions to countries torn apart by civil wars in the Middle East and Africa will be a contribution, if such solutions materialize, of Pakistan for global efforts of upholding human rights.

In times recently, Pakistan was left voiceless over the issue of Kashmir. India, on the other hand, used all available channels to tilt global opinion on the issue of Kashmir in its favour. The rhetoric of terrorism faded the genuine struggle of Kashmiri people and Indian abuses in the valley. Islamabad has now an important platform where it can present its case on Kashmir in a forceful manner. Pakistan can tell the world of Indian abuses in the occupied territories.

However, Pakistan’s duty does not finish with arguing for Kashmiri people’s struggles against the illegal occupation of India. Being a member of UNHRC, Pakistan needs to strive for protecting human rights across the globe. But Pakistan will only stand a higher moral pedestal if fundamental rights of each and every citizen of the country are protected. There are parts of Pakistan where security forces act with and violate human and fundamental rights of people with impunity.