At a seminar held by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on constitutionalism and human rights, a high-profile panel of human rights defenders discussed a way forward for Pakistan to progress as a democracy.
The panel included HRCP Honorary Spokesperson I. A. Rehman; HRCP Secretary-General Harris Khalique; HRCP Council member and Supreme Court advocate Hina Jilani; Secretary-General of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists, Nasir Zaidi; former director of the Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services, Zafarullah Khan; former Senators Afrasiab Khattak, Farhatullah Babar and Taj Haider; Justice Shakeel Baloch; senior journalists Muhammad Ziauddin, Hamid Mir and Asma Shirazi; Secretary-General of the Supreme Court Bar Association Shamim Malik; and political activist Dr Aasim Sajjad Akhtar.
The seminar was attended by a cross section of society. The resolution adopted by the panel urged the political leadership to ensure the supremacy of parliament, rule of law, and the people’s fundamental freedoms and rights. It stated that elected representatives should ensure that the system of governance rests on established laws and constitutional norms, instead of ordinances. The resolution also noted how political engineering by undemocratic forces had damaged democratic process.