Moot calls for mobilising community on civil rights for women -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Moot calls for mobilising community on civil rights for women

PESHAWAR: Speakers at a seminar here on Saturday stressed the need for mobilizing community to achieve civil rights which, they said, have been turning bad to worse in Pakistan, and particularly relating to women and minorities.

The seminar titled, ‘Civil Rights and Community Mobilization’ was organized by Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) where HRCP Secretary General IA Rehman, Director Coordinators Syed Husain Naqi, HRCP Vice Chairperson Sher Muhammad Khan, seasoned educationist Prof Iqbal Tajik, Assistant Professor at the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication in University of Peshawar Syed Irfan Ashraf, MNA Jamila Gilani, lawyers, teachers, students and large number of civil society members participated.

In his introductory remarks, IA Rehman said rights couldn’t be achieved without the individual and national level zeal. He said the strikes and protests by people are not for their rights but in fact through such acts they register their anger for the problems they are faced with.

“We protest against symptoms not against the disease. We protest against price-hike but never raise voice about the reasons that cause price-hike,” he explained. The veteran human rights defender said it is the responsibility of the state to provide all fundamental rights to its citizens. “If state is not providing food, shelter and employment to its citizens than it is not fulfilling its duty,” he added. In Pakistan, he said, the right to work is still not accepted which is in fact negation of right to live. He said people irrespective of their political affiliations should get united and struggle for their civil rights.

Syed Irfan Ashraf dilated upon Community Mobilization for Civil Rights, saying that community mobilization creates such factors in a society through which it converge people for their rights. He said community mobilization is basically freedom of expression and is not an isolated phenomenon and cannot be completed with participation of community. He said: “If we want to become a developed nation, people should be given awareness about their rights.”

He said in one country, people from different areas have separate rights. “The people residing in FATA, PATA, Gilgit-Baltistan and Frontier Regions are not enjoying the same rights, which the people in settled areas are enjoying,” Ashraf said. He added people should raise voice for their rights as without raising their issues no one will bother to address it.

Prof Iqbal Tajik who spoke on the ‘Youth Rights’ said 60 percent of Pakistan’s population is comprised of youth but unfortunately they are completely ignored. He stressed upon three most important rights of youth, which were ignored. “Our youth has been denied the right to education, right to employment and right to participation in development of the society,” Tajik said adding that it has resulted in sense of deprivation among the youth.

He said unfortunately in Pakistan education was the most neglected social sector while public sector educational institutions are in pathetic condition and need to be improved. “It is the responsibility of the State to provide free quality education, however it has failed to do so,” he stated.

Tajik said government should also provide maximum employment opportunities to youngsters and make a proper plan to accommodate fresh graduates of the universities in their respective sectors.

Malik Jrar Hussain, a council member of HRCP, in his speech discussed the need for civil rights education. He said the word civil right originated from American society where the civil right movement was started against discrimination of African-Americans. He said civil rights are those rights, which without any discrimination of cast, creed, colour and religion a citizen enjoys. He lamented that most of the educated people don’t know about their rights guaranteed in the Constitution and United Nations Declaration on Human Rights. “If one is not aware about his right, how can he exercise this right? ” he questioned.

Malik Jrar said the curriculum taught in schools and colleges have no mention of citizen rights, adding that it is the responsibility of the State to introduce a chapter in the curriculum regarding rights so that the youth could get awareness about their rights. Later, question answer session was also held which was actively participated by the audience.
Source: Daily Times
Date:10/30/2011