Govt urged to announce Nishan-e-Pakistan for internationally acclaimed ‘icon of Human Rights’


Rich tribute paid to IA Rehman

Zubair Qureshi

A panel of constitutional experts and human rights (HR) workers at a webinar has urged the government to give a befitting tribute to the icon of Human Rights and a role model in the struggle for rights I A Rehman by tabling the Bill against torture announcing highest civil award Nishan-e-Pakistan.

The bill has long been pending despite the fact the country had signed and ratified the UN Convention against Torture in 2008, said they adding the present government’s promise was yet to see the light of the day.

The panel of experts included seasoned politician and former senator Farhatullah Babar, Constitutionalist and human rights expert Zafarullah Khan, Devcom-Pakistan Executive Director Munir Ahmed, gender rights expert from Lahore Dr. Khushboo Ejaz, human rights and peace activist Sadia Bokhari, visual artist and art teacher Sarwat Kazmi, and political rights activist Zulqarnain Asghar.

Speaking at the condolence reference, the participants from different walks of life paid rich tributes to I.A. Rahman, Pakistan’s internationally acclaimed human rights defender, peace guru and a veteran journalist.

They said the journey of human rights should continue in the light of I.A. Rahman’s thoughts, visions and writings.

I A Rahman was a leading figure and an advocate of peace in the region through bilateral and multilateral advocacy and diplomacy based on human rights, said they.

The virtual commiseration was organized by the Development Communications Network (Devcom-Pakistan) and DTN to commemorate the services and work of the legend.

Farhatullah Babar asked the human rights committees of the National Assembly and Senate to have a joint session in memory of I.A. Rahman where they shall recommend to the government for conferring upon him the highest national award Nishan-e-Pakistan.

He also suggested the human rights organizations to form an alliance on the deteriorating situation of human rights in Pakistan and in the region for collective efforts to combat the challenges.

He also suggested that a couple of universities shall have human rights chairs after his name.

Babar said that I. A. Rahman was a person who genuinely shared his wisdom to everyone, wrote a lot about every aspect of human rights and democracy, and intentionally kept away from the rulers to maintain his integrity and intent.

Mr. Rahman was consistent in pursuing and encouraging others to write about human rights, peace process and democracy.

Devcom-Pakistan Executive Director Munir Ahmed said my generation learnt everything from the iconic human rights defender, peace guru and a seasoned journalist. He continued to inspire generations for six decades.

To continue the journey of his vision and wisdom, it is very essential to have his articles compiled in a book form, and another book shall be written on his efforts and lifelong struggle to inspire the next generation.

Eminent legal expert Zafarullah Khan said I.A Rahman started writing on human rights much earlier than the popular rights movement in Pakistan.

Dr Khushboo Ejaz said I.A. Rahman was a mentor, outspoken rights defender and blunt writer and journalist.

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