There is need to promote culture of research and teaching on fundamental rights at educational institutions of Pakistan. It was stated by speakers here at the ingaruation session of National Conference on State of Fundamental Rights in Pakistan Islamabad held here at local hotel of Islamabad. The conference was organized by Centre for Civic Education Pakistan in collaboration with Inter University Consortium for Promotion of Social Sciences (IUCPSS) and National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Mr. Zafarullah Khan Executive Director Centre for Civic Education Pakistan highlighted the objectives of the conference. Prof. Dr. Muhammad Mukhtar Chairperson Inter University Consortium for Promotion of Social Sciences in his welcome remarks said that the consortium and CCEP would continue work together over the various social problems being faced by Pakistani society. Speaking on the occasion, renowned human right activist I.A Rehman said that the educational institutions may undertake research over the human rights issues in Pakistan. “Since establishment of Pakistan, we are still facing feudalism, casteism and denial to the rights of vulnerable segments of the society i.e minorities and women”, he added. He also underlined the importance of harmony between culture and human rights. He was also of the view that without correcting the mistakes made in the past, we cannot meet the challenges of present and future.
The guest of honor Prof. Dr. S. Sohail H. Naqvi Executive Director HEC remarked that Pakistan and other Islamic countries are facing the similar human rights issues. He emphasized over proactive role of higher education institutions for improving state of fundamental rights in Pakistan. “HEC will continue to work with civil society organizations over the issues related to civic education and for promoting values of peace, tolerance and respect for fellow citizens”, he reiterated.
On this occasion, Civic Courage Award for the year 2012 was given to I.A Rehman for 2011 to Miss Malala Youafzai while Civic Education Award was awarded to Baacha Khan Trust Educational Foundation. Miss Malala Youafzai in her remarks, narrated the various challenges and problems confronted by the people of Swat during Taliban occupation. She termed pen as one of the most effective weapons to fight illiteracy and human rights violations.
Civic courage award has been created by Centre for Civic Education Pakistan to honor civic engagements and organizations that take a courageous public stance and stand to advance truth, justice, rule of law, democracy and pluralist values in Pakistan despite enormous odds and personal risks.