Sunday February 05, 2023

I A Rehman remembered

April 16, 2021

Islamabad: To take forward the mission of Ibn Abdur Rehman, the progressive forces need to realign themselves and engage all segments of the society for promotion and protection of human rights.

The views were expressed at a remembrance organized at National Press Club (NPC) to pay tribute to the legendry human rights activist and journalist I A Rehman. Intellectuals, human rights activists and journalists gathered on the NPC lawn to express their feelings and share experiences about the iconic human rights defender of Pakistan.

“I A Rehman always stood for democracy, constitution and supremacy of the Parliament. An era has ended with his death and no one can fill the void created by his demise,” said General Secretary Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists Nasir Zaidi.

The participants shared I A Rehman’s stories of bravery and kindness. They admired the smile and peace he always used to have on his face despite always taking a stand for the most vulnerable in the society in the most difficult times. They acknowledged his bravery, fearlessness, humbleness, his love for art and literature, his alertness, and above all, his unconditional support for the vulnerable.

Famous poet Kishwar Naheed recited a poem she wrote to pay tribute to I A Rehman. She said that human rights defenders have lost their true leader. She highlighted the need to take forward his mission and work on the character building of the society.

Eminent human rights activist Tahira Abdullah said that I A Rehman was not only an internationally renowned journalist and human rights defender but also an ardent peace activist, a modest, humble, gentle, non-fiery, atypical activist, and an everlasting proud legacy. “We are mourning I A Rehman but much more than that, we are celebrating this giant icon who was a legend in his lifetime.”

Known human rights activist Naeem Mirza said that I A Rehman was above any ideology. He talked about his wit and sense of humour which he kept alive despite dedicating his life to serious issues. “He himself was an ideology and ideology always stays alive,” he said.

Participants struggled to hold their tears while narrating their experience of working with the I A Rehman at the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP).

Others who expressed their views included Chaudhry Ishaq, Nasir Malik, Kathy Gannon, Aslam Dogar, Qurban Satti, and Abdul Sattar. In the end, NPC President Shakeel Anjum delivered a note of thanks.