HomeDiplomatic NewsAmbassadorsAsma Jahangir Conference 2024 begins in Lahore

Asma Jahangir Conference 2024 begins in Lahore

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Lahore, 27 April 2024 (TDI): The fifth Asma Jahangir Conference (AJCONF 2024) themed “People’s Mandate: Safeguarding Civil Rights in South Asia” commenced in Lahore today. The conference has been organized by the Asma Jahangir Legal Aid Cell (AGHS).

This conference is scheduled from the 27th to the 28th of April at Faletti’s Hotel Lahore. The two-day conference is being held jointly with the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC).

Azam Nazir Tarar, Federal Minister for Law and Justice, attended the inaugural event as well as justices from Pakistan’s Supreme Court and high courts were also present.

Moreover, the Ambassadors of numerous countries namely the European Union, Germany, Norway, Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom’s High Commissioner graced the conference with their presence on the first day.

Distinguished addressers of conference

Senate Chairman Yousuf Raza Gilani, former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Abdul Malik Baloch, Akhtar Mengal, Barrister Syed Ali Zafar, Farooq Naik, Nafisa Shah, Shehla Raza, Khurram Dastgir, and Baba Jan will speak at the 5th Asma Jahangir Conference.

Also addressing the event are Taj Haider, Farhatullah Babar, Dr. Ayesha Ghos Pasha, Ayesha Siddiqa Raza Farooq, Raheela Durrani, Soraya Bibi, and Samar Bilour.

Justice L.T.B Dehideniya, former judge of the Supreme Court in Sri Lanka and chairman of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, will join Justice Markandey Katju, former judge of the Supreme Court of India, and former judge of the High Court of Denmark, Frederick Waage, to discuss legal issues across South Asia and in the Middle East.

Additionally, retired Justice Nasira Iqbal and former Attorney General Irfan Qadir will be part of the panel. Sindh High Court Bar Association President Salahuddin Ahmed will also contribute to the discussion.

Political and social experts like Michael Kugelman of the United States, Afghanistan’s Mehbouba Seraj, Roshmi Goswami, and Syeda Hamid from India will provide views and analysis on the recent South Asian elections.

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Francesca Albanese, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Occupied Palestinian Territories, alongside Shawan Jabarin of the Palestinian human rights organization Al-Haq, will address the current Gaza crisis and the breach of international law.

Peace activist from the West Bank, Palestine, Reverend Munther Isaac, Pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bethlehem, Palestine, joins them in highlighting these pressing issues.

Furthermore, Cecilia Bailet, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and International Solidarity, will contribute insights on the matter.

Inaugural remarks at AJCONF 2024

Ambassador of the European Union to Pakistan Dr. Riina Kionka began her address to the attendees of the Asma Jahangir Conference 2024 with praise for remembrance of the late Asma Jahangir, the esteemed lawyer and advocate for human rights.

High Commissioner of the United Kingdom Jane Marriott mentioned that the Conference celebrates the icon’s legacy. Pakistan’s government, civil society, and friends must collaborate with a genuine commitment to human rights and democracy.

It’s a pleasure to renew the UK’s commitment at the inauguration. She further urged during her speech that journalists should be free to work in a safe environment and citizens do have a right to free digital speech.

Federal Minister for Law and Justice Azam Nazeer Tarar stated that the Pakistani government is committed to fulfilling its constitutional and international commitments.

“Freedom of expression is close to my heart but my constitution imposes certain reasonable limitations. There are responsibilities of the social media”, he added.

General Director of Palestine’s human rights organization Al-Haq, Shawan Jabarin, emphasized that “We are not asking the world to stand with Palestine, we are asking them to stand with humanity, justice, and human rights”.

Maha Afzal Chaudhary
Maha Afzal Chaudhary
Maha Afzal Chaudhary is an undergraduate student pursuing a BS in International Relations from the National University of Modern Languages (NUML), Pakistan. She has a keen interest in analyzing global dynamics while deconstructing the underlying facts and unraveling the intricacies of international politics. Her areas of focus encompass state security-related matters and preferential economic interests. Her concerned sphere also comprises foreign policy-making processes of states.

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