Pakistan, India urge Taliban to restore women’s rights

GENEVA — Indian and Pakistani envoys expressed their deep disappointment at the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday over the continued suspension of women’s and girls’ education in Afghanistan and the deprivation of women’s employment opportunities.

Umeir Khaled, Pakistan’s representative, spoke at the 56th session of the Human Rights Council on Afghanistan, urging the Taliban to take immediate action.

“We also urge the current rulers of Afghanistan to take immediate steps to resume the education of women and girls and to create conditions where women can work, in line with Afghanistan’s international commitments,” Khalid said.

He emphasized that restrictions on women’s education and employment have further exacerbated Afghanistan’s economic and humanitarian crises.

Gaurav Kumar Thakur, the Indian representative, also addressed the session, underscoring Afghanistan’s proximity to India and the importance of lasting peace and stability in the region.

“We are closely monitoring the human rights situation in Afghanistan. Our priority is to uphold the rights of women, children, and minorities, to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan, to form an inclusive and representative government in the country, and to combat terrorism and drug trafficking,” Thakur said.

Thakur reaffirmed India’s readiness to cooperate with all partners and stakeholders to ensure peace and security in Afghanistan. He noted that India continues to send humanitarian aid and provide scholarships to Afghan students.

Since seizing power in August 2021, Taliban has imposed dozens of restrictions on women’s rights and their freedoms in Afghanistan.