ISLAMABAD - Opposition Senators yesterday demanded a probe into why Pakistan lost its seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Opposition lawmakers described the loss as a "complete failure" of the government's foreign policy.

Pakistan had held the seat for more than nine years but was defeated in a vote on October 28, which saw Kyrgystan elected. It had stood for one of five seats but was rejected in the poll of 193 member states.

The defeat was seen as a massive blow by politicians and diplomats who fear it has lost a platform to counter Indian claims on Kashmir. India will remain a member of the council until 2017.

PPP Senator Saleem Mandviwala demanded a probe into the matter.

Senator Sussi Palejo deplored that Pakistan won only 105 votes. Defeat was a setback for the Kashmir cause as it could not now be raised at a proper international forum.

"Some countries have a questionable record of human rights but they are members of the council," said former Pakistan Ambassador to the United States, PPP lawmaker Senator Sherry Rehman.

"What is the strategy for a come back," she asked and complained that Pakistan had not lobbied for the post.

PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar said that the defeat showed the government's foreign policy was misguided and more focussed on allowing Arab Prince to hunt endangered birds.

Nobody from the government was ready to take responsibility, he said, but conceded it also reflected Pakistan's own poor record on human rights.

He also suggested Pakistan had been 'punished' by Gulf countries over its stance on the civil war in Yemen.

"There are some report that Gulf countries did not vote for Pakistan as a reaction for Pakistan’s decision not to become part of the coalition against Yemen," he said.

Federal Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastagir Khan responding on behalf of the Prime Minister's Adviser on Foreign Affairs rejected claims that Pakistan had not lobbied hard enough to win.

"Adviser to the PM wrote letters to foreign ministers of member countries and bilateral level meetings were used for lobbying," he said. Pakistan had improved its conditions on human rights and would continue raising the issue of Kashmir at the UN Security Council, he added.

Later, Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Aitzaz Ahsan raised media reports, which claimed the tax records of ruling elite were missing from the Federal Board of Revenue. "I can disclose the tax record of PM as he paid zero income tax in 1994 and 1995 while only Rs 477 in 1995," he added. Chairman Senate said he should raise the issue when the Finance Minister is present.

Senator Karim Khawaja on a point of order claimed that the student wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami, the Islami Jamiat Tulba (IJT), is preventing girls from mingling with male students in colleges and universities and compared the group to India's Shiv Sena, a Mumbai-based political party that organises violent protests.