ISLAMABAD, Nov 18: Be it forced disappearances, Indian fishermen, plight of the poor or any issue regarding human rights, Iqbal Haider was the man who advocated strongly for these causes.
This was stated at a memorial service organised by Sindh Graduates Association (SGA), Islamabad branch.
Human rights activist Tahira Abdullah said that Iqbal Haider had managed to convince Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto to change the name of law ministry to include human rights in it.
She said Iqbal Haider stood by the vision of a secular and progressive Pakistan and struggled for it, till his death: “He was one of those men who didn’t care for recognition in worldly terms but always stood by the poor and exploited.”
She said that the late Iqbal Haider preferred his principles over political affiliation and distanced himself from the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), when he thought that the party was not standing by its own principles.
“Iqbal Haider was also the first person to highlight the case of forced disappearances in international forums, including bringing a delegation of the International Commission of Jurists to Pakistan,” Tahira Abdullah said.
Writer and Chief Executive of Strengthening Participatory Organisation (SPO) Naseer Memon said that Iqbal Haider was one of those few people who could speak out against those forces of oppression, who could not be criticised in the public domain.
“He did not care about the consequences, while speaking out the truth against those who believed in the violation of human rights” he said.
The speakers highlighted that Iqbal Haider was a genuine fighter of rights and as a person he was humble, polite and a down to earth man.
The speakers narrated their own experiences and said that Iqbal Haider never believed in differences and struggled for various causes including missing persons, rights of minorities, restoration of judiciary.
SGA Islamabad President Yousif Memon also spoke on the occasion and said that SGA believed in highlighting the struggle and efforts of those people, who fought for the rights of others.