PPP signs 15-point human rights pledge
KARACHI: While commemorating the Universal Human Rights Day, Pakistan Peoples Party patron-in-chief Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Tuesday vowed never to compromise on people’s right to liberty, equality, non-discrimination, assembly and free speech.
He was speaking at a ceremony held at the CM House to sign 15-point PPP’s human rights pledge solemnly undertaken to strive to create a Pakistan where all citizens have an equal opportunity to succeed; where access to quality education and healthcare is available to all; where discrimination based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, class, caste and creed is not practised; where no one is killed, silenced, injured or kidnapped for standing up for what they believe in.
Mr Bhutto-Zardari said he was committed to safeguard the rights-based policy agenda that was the founding principles of the party led by Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and pursued by Shaheed Mohtrama Benazir Bhutto.
“In PPP’s Pakistan, strongest and weakest, the poorest and richest shall have same right to justice and prosper. Privatisation of common assets will not become personalisation of wealth. Nature’s bounty shall be distributed to each according to his merit. Class, gender, religion and other external factors will not change the fact that each Pakistani will be rewarded based on individual labour.”
Recalling that the PPP is a progressive, social democratic, workers’ party whose founders envisaged for a tolerant, progressive, democratic society where all the persons regardless of race, class, colour, sex or religion enjoyed equal rights. Paying tribute to the party leaders who waged a long struggle and sacrificed their lives for the restoration of democracy and peoples rights and the workers who sacrificed their lives for peoples rule and peoples rights, the PPP chief stated: “We the workers of the Pakistan Peoples Party on this international human rights day, hereby pledge that:
• Protect and defend the fundamental rights of the people as enshrined in the constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
• The inviolable and inalienable rights of the people regardless of race, colour, sex or religion are and must be the same and that the Party will work against discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, race or colour in any form and anywhere
• We will continue to work, and struggle for strengthening of democracy and democratic values of our country.
• We will continue our struggle to fight against extremism, religious bigotry, sectarian violence and intolerance in all its forms
• We the workers believe in the inviolable dignity of men and women, and vow to stand against torture, illegal and arbitrary arrests and detention of any kind by any formal and informal power. We will defend every person’s right to a fair trial.
• We will continue our struggle for a society founded on equitable distribution of wealth and resources where rights of people to own their resources is recognized.
• We believe that the social rights of food, clothing and shelter, of health and education, energy and development are the primary responsibility of governments and that the party workers will work for these rights of our people through our manifesto and our policy.
• We pledge that we will protect the peoples rights and freedoms to form associations, in defence of their rights and freedoms as enshrined in the constitution of Pakistan.
• We pledge to protect the rights of workers, labourers to and farmers and recognize the right of tillers to own and till their land.
• We pledge to protect the resources, assets, organizations that are made for the people and keep in check unbridled privatization and work against concentration of wealth in fewer hands.
• We promise to protect the rights of women and work towards their full participation in public life and work towards a state that ensures that women are protected both at home and at work.
• We promise to protect the rights of our religious minorities and their places of worship.
• We promise to work to build a society which respects freedom of religion, and freedom to profess religion, but respects all religions and sects and their freedoms.
• We promise to promote, nurture and protect the rights of our children as well as our elders.
• We pledge to promote the arts and recreation, and encourage and recognize our rich linguistic, religious, and cultural diversity at all levels.
Earlier Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah underscored the struggle of the PPP leadership and workers for fundamental rights and announced the government’s plan to transfer land and assets to thousands of poor people.
Dr Nafisa Shah, who is co-coordinator of the PPP human rights cell, introduced members of the cell and highlighted its work.
Taj Haider Sindh, general secretary of the PPP, readout the memorandum.