For favour of publication

Press Release, 6 August 2009

Lahore: A Reference for the pioneering student leader Dr. Muhammad Sarwar will be held here at HRCP’s  Dorab Patel Auditorium on Saturday August 8 at 5 p.m.

Dr. Muhammad Sarwar was amongst founding leaders of the Democratic Students Federation (DSF) and  the All Pakistan Students Organisation (APSO).  He was also instrumental in the formation of Inter-Collegiate Body of Karachi (ICB) which along with DSF spearheaded the students struggle for the acceptance of students charter of demands in 1953.

Twice elected to the office of General Secretary (national), Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) that continues to play a leading role in the affairs of medical profession, Dr. Muhammad Sarwar was amongst those who had formulated a people-friendly health policy. It was unfortunate that the policy, duly presented to the concerned quarters by the PMA, remains unimplemented.

Born at Allahabad, Dr. Sarwar came to Pakistan in 1948 and joined Dow Medical College,Karachi. After graduation he practiced for over forty (40) years at his clinic in the lower middle class locality, Golimar,

Coinciding with his Birthday, the Reference for Dr.Muhammmad  Sarwar,  will be addressed by Mr. Hameed Akhtar; Mr.I.A. Rehman;Mr. Abid Hasan Manto;Dr. Haroon Ahmad, Dr. M. Ilyas, Prof. Afzal  Tauseef, Ms. Salima Hashmi; Dr.Izhar Chaudhry General Secretary PMA,Punjab, Mr.Farooq Tariq LPP leader,Mr.S.M. Naseem former editor “Students’ Herald”, Zaman Khan, Ammar Ali Jan, Dr. Farrukh Gulzar and Dr. Zakia Sarwar.

The Reference will be followed by tea. Later, participants may join discussion to be facilitated by Mr. S.M. Naseem, Beena Sarwar and Ali Cheema.

Issued on behalf of: Friends and Admirers of Dr. Muhammad Sarwar
By Husain Naqi

Killing of noted religions scholar Dr. Sarfaraz Naeemi

Press Release, June 12

Dr. Sarfaraz NaeemiLahore: Ms. Asma Jahangir, Chairperson, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has expressed deep pain and anguish at the continuing suicide bombings that persist in causing heavy loss of human lives.

The latest incident of target bombing took the life of noted religions scholar Dr. Sarfaraz Naeemi, Head of the Jamia Naeemia, in Lahore and several faithfuls in a Nowshera mosque besides injuring several persons who came to offer Juma prayers.

HRCP chairperson has urged upon the federal and provincial governments and the law enforcement bodies to take strong preventive measures to bring to halt further loss of human life. Ms Asma Jahangir urged upon the political leadership of the country, members of the legislative bodies and social activists to undertake the task of mobilizing the public against the elements who desire to enforce their agenda through use of brute force.

She has urged upon the followers of Dr. Naeemi to remain peaceful while expressing their grief over the cowardly act of killing of their religious divine in the suicide bombing that killed and injured other innocent persons who had participated in the Juma prayers at the Jamia Naeemia mosque

Issued by: Husain Naqi

For Human Rights Commission of Pakistan

HRCP urges security for Bugti’s niece

Press Release, April 29

Lahore: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has called upon the president of Pakistan and the Punjab chief minister to ensure that Samia Mazari, a niece of Nawab Akbar Bugti and mother-in-law of Brahamdagh Bugti, is provided protection against harassment by intelligence agency operatives.

In letters addressed to President Asif Ali Zardari and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, HRCP has drawn attention to Ms. Mazari’s harassment at the hands of intelligence agency members who have been following and harassing her in Lahore and have threatened to kill her.

The letter urged the president and the chief minister to take prompt action “to ensure that Ms. Mazari’s security is guaranteed and that she is not harassed merely because of her relationship with a person about whom somebody in government may have unfavourable ideas”.

I.A. Rehman

Secretary General

Anti-terrorism demo on Saturday

Anti-terrorism demo on Saturday

Press release, April 1

Lahore: A Lahore citizens’ rally will be held outside the Lahore High Court building on Saturday, April 4, 2009, at 4-30 pm to demonstrate the people’s will to resist and defeat the terrorists. Later on the participants will march peacefully up to the Charing Cross. A decision to organise this demonstration was taken on Tuesday at a largely attended meeting of the members of the Joint Action Committee for People’s Rights, other civil society organisations, human rights activists, political workers, lawyers, women’s rights organisations, and students.

The meeting decided that the people of Lahore had a duty to offer a befitting reply to the terrorists who had been targeting the country’s civilian population and the security personnel, the most recent example being the raid on the police training centre at Manawan. The meeting also decided to hold consultations after Saturday’s rally to evolve a long-term programme for mobilizing the people for fighting the menace of terrorism.

I. A. Rehman

Secretary-General, HRCP

Call to join rally against terrorism

Lahore, April 1: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) calls upon all political workers, lawyers, civil society organisations, trade unions, women activists, human rights campaigners, writers, artists, teachers and the youth to join the anti-terrorism rally in Lahore on Saturday, April 4, 2009. (Outside the Lahore High Court at 4.30 pm.). It is necessary to tell the terrorists that the people of Lahore shall not meekly suffer their cowardly attacks.

Asma Jahangir

Chairperson, HRCP

Verdict vindicates demand for independent judiciary: HRCP

Press Release, February 25, 2009

Lahore: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan on Wednesday regretted the judgment of the Supreme Court of Pakistan disqualifying Mian Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif by a short order.

A statement by HRCP said: “This apparent politicisation of the rule of law has further devalued the respect of the superior judiciary of the country. The people of Pakistan are sharp enough to distinguish between judgments based on justice and those delivered for ulterior political motives. The writing was on the wall. Pakistan is going through a critical period and further destabilisation of Punjab can only add to the country’s woes.

Political parties including the PPP have suffered at the hands of judicial pronouncements that selectively victimise political parties and their leaders. The judicial assassination of late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and the hounding of late Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto as well as leaders of the ANP and the PML-N are now established historical facts. These errors continue at huge costs to the country.

HRCP hopes that political parties will remain united in giving precedence to the mandate of the people over dubious judicial pronouncements. This motivated judicial interference has vindicated the demand of the lawyers’ movement for an independent judiciary. It is now quite apparent that the democratic process will not move forward unless the nexus between the judiciary and the executive is not severed.

HRCP warns that the country needs political reconciliation rather than polarization that will leave a vacuum for adventurism. National and international players concerned with political progress in Pakistan must take note of this disturbing development. Woefully, Pakistan’s rulers misinterpret the US support for them as license to play havoc with their opponents and democratic norms.”

Asma Jahangir

Chairperson

Attacks on journalists expose intolerance, Swat truce: HRCP

Press Release, February 19, 2009

 

LAHORE: The murder in Swat of journalist Musa Khankhel hours after his abduction on Wednesday dampens the unreasonably high expectations of peace after a truce called between the government and local militant groups, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has said.

 

The murder also exposes risks to free expression in the restive region, HRCP said. At the same time, an attack on SAFMA Secretary General Imtiaz Alam in Lahore, also on Wednesday, reveals the extent of intolerant attitudes in the rest of the country, the Commission said in a press statement on Thursday.

 

The statement said: “Journalists have frequently faced violence in the tumultuous Swat region. However, Khankhel’s murder became the first violation of a truce between the government and militant groups. Ironically, the journalist was covering a ‘peace march’ led by the local militant leader’s father-in-law when he was taken away.

 

The president and prime minister have expressed grief and ordered an investigation. But this must go beyond political statements. The government must look more closely at its new partners in ‘peace’, who have been consistently accused of large-scale and unusual savagery and destruction, of which there has been abundant evidence and media coverage. It is that independent coverage that Khankhel’s murder aims to prevent. The government must ask itself if it is negotiating with a party that has the ability or willingness to deliver on its promises.

 

Khankhel’s brutal murder has understandably shaken journalists in the Swat region. The warning could not have been any clearer for them.

 

Mercifully, Mr Imtiaz Alam escaped serious injury in the attack in Lahore. However, the incident exposes the threat intolerance and militancy pose to free expression across the country.

 

The government must act swiftly to bring the perpetrators in both cases to justice and protect journalists working in Swat and the rest of the country.”

 

Asma Jahangir

Chairperson

HRCP lauds WPAF organizers for persisting with event

Press release, November 24

 

LAHORE: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has applauded the World Performing Arts Festival (WPAF) organizers for the fact that they continued with the festival despite a series of blasts close to the venue on Saturday.

 

In a statement on Monday, the Commission said: “The HRCP applauds the WPAF organizers for going ahead with the festival’s concluding ceremony and for not bowing to extremist element’s pressure and threats of sabotage.

 

Credit is also due to the government for improving security for the last day of the event. The HRCP believes that militants must not be allowed to kill the spirit of the people, which has been very much central to such entertainment and cultural activities, especially in Lahore.

 

The society and the silent majority must assert itself by coming together and exposing militant and extremist elements as the miniscule minority that they represent. It must also deny them the space they seek to create by resorting to threats, intimidation and other pressure tactics.”

 

Asma Jahangir

Chairperson