15 Feb 2016

Narrative for rights based Pakistani future

DSC_1109 (Copy)ISLAMABAD – Centre for Civic Education Pakistan (CCEP) on Friday hailed the establishment of National Commission for Human Rights yet expressing its concern about impeding threats to constitutionally acknowledged citizen’s Rights to Association.

CCEP had hosted a conference on “Narrative for rights based Pakistani future”. The speakers at the event shared their viewpoint about the present state of right deliverance in Pakistan and its causes.  Participants stressed that Pakistan needed to follow a citizen centric discourse to improve the quality of life of general public and to eradicate the menace of extremism from the society.

The participants expressed their commitment for “Islamabad Rsolve-2016”. In the resolve it has feared that on-going attempts to over regulate citizen’s right of association through executive orders will further squeeze the already shrunk public sphere and civic spaces. “This will serve no other purpose but will promote spiral of silence vis-à-vis civility”, it stated.

The conference demanded that all state institutions to respect the sacrifices of the ordinary Pakistani and work with democratic dedication. It has also called for effective local governments for improved communication between the citizen and the state. Islamabad Resolve-2016 vetted by all participants also demanded for meaningful educational reforms especially in the curriculum and textbooks. They also urged the public and private media to devote ample time for the promotion of constitutionalism.

Earlier Chairman National Commission for Human Rights Justice (R) Ali Nawaz Chowhan delivered the keynote address and stressed to ensure rule of law for a prosperous Pakistan. He hoped that the situation was getting better and institutions had started recognizing their duties. Dr. Ahsan Ali Vice Chancellor Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan highlighted the civic life of Gandhara and Indus civilization and emphasized to reclaim the lost values. Dr. Tauseef Ahmed Khan delivered Zamir Niazi Memorial Lecture and counted challenges to freedom of expression in the country.

Panelists Jami Chandio, Zubair Torwali,  Shahzada Zulfiqar and Zoya Ashraf discussed the state of fundamental rights in Pakistan and called for increased intellectual freedom . They were of the view that extremism and intolerance in the society was even more dangerous as compared to coercive policies of the state organs. The speakers urged to implement each and every clause of the constitution for better future.

The Centre presented its Civic Education Award-2015 to Jami Chandio, Civic Education Award-2016 to Inter University Consortium for Promotion of Social Sciences, Civic Courage Award-2016 to Sabir Nazar. The Conference also recognized the resilience of Pakistanis amid war on terror.