Pakistan lost its bid on Tuesday to be re-elected to the UN Human Rights Council when its current term ends this year. It polled just 105 votes in the 193-member General Assembly.
Pakistan was considering running for the Council’s presidency next year, according to diplomatic sources, and had been putting out feelers. The defeat deals Islamabad a diplomatic set-back as it seeks to burnish its international reputation.
Geneva-based non-governmental human rights group UN Watch welcomed the defeat of Pakistan, terming it as a “major surprise.”
Islamabad ran for one of the five slots this year for Asian and Pacific nations on the Council for which there were seven contestants.
United Arab Emirates, Kyrgyzstan, South Korea and the Philippines were elected from the Asia-Pacific region to serve a three-year terms. Laos was the other country to lose the election.
A total of 18 countries were elected on Tuesday representing the various regions.
The Council has 47 members elected by the General Assembly and it is responsible for promoting and protecting human rights around the world and dealing with violations.
India is a member of the Council and was reelected last year to another term on the Council.