Delegate Name: Farahnoz Firdavsi
Pakistan has time through time allowed its citizens to protest peacefully, “Every citizen shall have the right to assemble peacefully and without arms, subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interest of public order.” (Article16, Constitution of Pakistan, 1973). And we will continue to grant this freedom to our citizens. However, we also believe that at times it is important for us, as a government, to intervene when a protest is beginning to develop into a violent one with potential danger to bystanders, government workers, or public/private property.
For that reason, Pakistan has been willing to abide by the 1990 United Nations Basic Principles for so long. Even so, we also understand the countries that believe they know and understand their citizen’s needs, and believe in restricting the right to peaceful protest, as in most occasions those tend to be dangerous and violent riots, harming everyone and everything at the scene. Perfect examples of this are the Tottenham protests in London on August 6, 2011, Greensboro 1976 KKK Protest in 1979, protests in Ukrain in 2013, and recent protests in the U.S.A. tied to the BLM movement.
Pakistan believes that although allowing our citizens the freedom to peacefully assemble is important, it is impossible for us to not intercept and disperse the said crowd when it is bothering bystanders and breaking public laws.
Pakistan also believes that it is best to let nations choose what is best for their citizens. Currently, the right to peaceful protest is not an urgent issue in our country, however, we are willing to compromise and help the other nations find a resolution to this issue, a resolution that will respect a countries right to govern its citizens as they deem fit.