Dr. Luay Shabaneh called on Federal Minister for Human Rights Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada

Khalid Sibtain

Islamabad: United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Country Representative in Pakistan Dr. Luay Shabaneh called on Federal Minister for Human Rights Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada today in Ministry of Human Rights, Islamabad. Secretary Human Rights Mr. Ali Raza Bhutta and senior officers were also present in this meeting. They exchanged views on the issues related to population planning, its impact on economic growth, gender equality, women rights in Pakistan and support from UNFPA under its mandate for population planning and development.
Minster welcomed the honorable guest and stated that Pakistan is fully committed to upholding and implementation of UN charter. He commented that we are far behind in population planning that is indeed the major reason behind scarcity and better resource allocation in the country. Pakistan is a country with population mismanagement and disproportionate growth. There is need of interventions, advocacy, awareness, more funds allocation and proper enforcement of laws on this subject. For that we are looking forward more collaboration especially from non-governmental bodies.
Minster further underscored that the UN agencies have been very helpful to Pakistan particularly in the area of human rights. He said that though the population control is a provincial subject after the 18th Constitutional Amendment yet Ministry of Human Rights is constantly dealing with international obligations related to women and child rights.
Mr. Shabaneh mentioned that UNFPA was established as an independent agency with the dedicated efforts of a proactive Pakistani woman but it is dismal that Pakistan has been ranked below globally on women empowerment. He offered for further collaboration in focused studies and policy formulation in the area of population management.
Secretary Human Rights apprised the representative that ministry is actively pursuing National Action Plan on Women Rights. We are regularly reporting on both national and international forums. There is a foremost need to make more investments on awareness and proper enactment of laws.
At the end, Minster appreciated the good will and cooperation from UNFPA and said that Pakistan is a progressive and dynamic country where we have leading participation of women mainly in the informal sectors of economy. There is a need for statistics updates through reliable methods of data collection. He vowed for more working collaboration especially in research and focused studies for population control and management.

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