New Delhi: Terrorism is a "crime against humanity", said External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Tuesday. Addressing the High Level Segment of the 46th Session of Human Rights Council (HRC), he said India's commitment to human rights is seen in the way the government has handled the pandemic.
"Terrorism continues to be one of the gravest threats to humankind. It is a crime against humanity and violates the most fundamental human right, namely the 'Right to Life'…Terrorism can never be justified, nor its perpetrators ever equated with its victims," said Mr. Jaishankar highlighting India's experience "as an inclusive and pluralistic society and vibrant democracy".
Also read: India at UN says terrorism most serious violation of human rights, emanating from beyond its borders
Mr. Jaishankar said human rights agenda in the world is facing a major challenge from terrorism and expressed India's desire to work with other members of the HRC. He highlighted the special importance of the rights that are enshrined in the Constitution as the Fundamental Rights. "These continue to evolve through legislation by Parliament, progressive interpretation of laws by the judiciary and active participation of civil society and citizens."
The Minister's comments came days after India reacted angrily to observations by the Special Rapporteurs on Minority Issues and Freedom of Religion or Belief on apparent erosion of rights in Kashmir and the rest of India. The Ministry had termed the observations as "deplorable".
Mr. Jaishankar reached out to the HRC: "Our approach to the UN Human Rights Council is guided by our spirit of engagement, dialogue and consultation. We believe that equal emphasis should be placed on both promotion and protection of human rights. Both are best pursued through dialogue, consultation and cooperation among States as well as technical assistance and capacity building."
Mr. Jaishankar said the government provided "direct food support to 800 million Indians and financial support to 400 million" to counter the impact of the pandemic. "In the same spirit, India has pledged to use its vaccine manufacturing capacity to make vaccines accessible and affordable to all.
Mr Jaishankar said the Government of India provided "direct food support to 800 million Indians and financial support to 400 million" to counter the impact of the pandemic and added, "In the same spirit, India has pledged to use its vaccine manufacturing capacity to make vaccines accessible and affordable to all."