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November 8, 2018

Call to adhere to UN charter of HR


November 8, 2018

LAHORE: Speakers at an international conference titled “Human Rights Challenges and Prospects” have said that it is time for the voices of reason and responsibility in the world to caution against militarism, and demanded all big and small states strictly adhere to the UN charter’s central principle: the prohibition of the use or threat of use of force in international relations.

In his keynote address at the opening ceremony of the conference, veteran Pakistani diplomat Shamshad Ahmad Khan said that in the emerging scenario, no other region in the world today was as volatile and unstable as South Asia with continuing Afghan turmoil with all its ramifications and longstanding India-Pakistan conflict and hostility.

Shamshad Khan, the former foreign secretary, believed that that peace in South Asia would remain elusive as long as Kashmir remains under Indian occupation. “The world must know that it’s a question involving the fundamental right of self-determination of the Kashmiri people pledged to them by the international community as well as by both India and Pakistan,” he added.

He highlighted the human rights violations in Kashmir by the Indian armed forces. He also talked about the growing challenges of human rights globally particularly of children and women’s rights.

The veteran diplomat said that the human rights challenges were many but the prospects were so very bleak. “We are living today in a world that could not be more chaotic and more turbulent. Armed conflict remains pervasive”, he said.

Eleven foreign speakers from USA, China, Belgium, Singapore, Uzbekistan and Sri Lanka attended the opening ceremony of the three-day conference organised by the Political Science Department of GC University, Lahore, in collaboration with the federal and provincial higher education commissions to analyse the new researched data, concepts, approaches, ideas and methods vis-à-vis human rights, and formulate a more constructive framework to revert the daunting trends.

Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) Chairman Prof Dr Muhammad Nizamuddin, who was the chief guest at the event, said that the world had agreed charters on human rights but it needed practical solutions to implement them.

He laid a stress on academia to debate and formulate practical solutions and polices to counter the abuse of human rights in global and domestic perspectives. GCU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah said the themes of GCU’s conference were mostly related to vulnerable segments of society, not only in Pakistan but in global perspective.

The conference seeks to explore economic, political and social dimensions of human rights, covering a wide range of concerns of different stakeholders. “I expect that the scholars will shed light on the topic beyond the traditional parameters of academic discussions and contribute to formulation of methodological framework that must comprehend the concept of human rights within the context of local and global realities and real international politics,” the VC concluded.

Prof Dr Khalid Manzoor Butt, the conference’s chairman, said that scholars and social activists from John Locke to Asma Jehangir had strived to aware and educate the people about their human rights and sensitise the stakeholders.

“UN Declaration of Human Rights is the landmark achievement at the international level and regarded as yardstick to measure the conditions of human rights in a society, but still various countries and societies have to give attention to this important aspect of human being,” he said.

The conference chairman said Kashmir, Palestine and Rohangia Muslims of Mianmar were prime examples of human rights violations, and the international community was unable to address these challenging issues of contemporary age.

“Similarly, minorities and immigrants have been suffering in many countries. Women, children, labourers and transgender people are most vulnerable communities particularly in the third world countries. In this conference, the scholars would highlight different aspects of human rights, challenges and prospects,” Prof Khalid Butt concluded.

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