IN the aftermath of Asma Jahangir’s death we note how in Pakistan human rights are violated by the state or by the agents of the state.
A survey done by the ministry of law, justice and human rights revealed that from January 2012 to September 2015, as many as 8648 incidents of human rights violation were reported in Pakistan. These include incidents of acid attacks, burning incidents, honor killings, domestic violence, minority killings, kidnapping incidents, gang rapes, cases of missing persons/children, police-related cases, violations related to prison, targetted killings, sexual harassment, child abuse, and violence against women.
Unfortunately, a massive difference exists between Western societies and our Pakistani society in terms of social and moral norms and values. Citizens of civilised Western societies demand autonomy and women empowerment via gender equality, equal opportunities in employment, education, leadership, politics, and decision-making. On the other hand, in Pakistan, there is gender discrimination.
We need to establish a society that is purely based on freedom, peace, and justice. For having this kind of society our citizens must enjoy the freedom of speech, honour, property and lives. There is a dire need for a change in mindsets and attitudes of people. Only then, will our society be able to respect human rights. I’m sure things will improve before all is lost.
ASMA Jahangir was always on the front line for human rights and was the first woman to serve as president of the Supreme Court Bar Association.
Pakistan now mourns losing one of its bravest daughters. She will be remembered in the long journey towards stronger women rights in Pakistan.
Jeehand Peer Baksh
Published in Dawn, February 14th, 2018