Civil Society acknowledges Peter Jacob’s contribution to human rights

NationalCivil Society acknowledges Peter Jacob’s contribution to human rights

LAHORE, Pakistan: The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) organized an event to celebrate the contributions of Peter Jacob who received the prestigious Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Award on the 25th anniversary of International Religious Freedom Act 1998.

The event held at SAFMA Auditorium in Lahore was joined by journalists, lawyers, and human rights activists, and diplomats.


The speakers included Wajahat Masood, Justice (retd) Nasira Iqbal, Clara Strandhoj, Head of Lahore, Consulate of UK, Karl Rogers, Public Affairs Officer, US Consulate, Arif Saeed, Honorary Consul of Germany in Lahore, Tanveer Jahan, Saroop Ijaz advocate, Allama Saddiq Azhar, Samson Salamat and Rana Zulqurnain Advocate, who dilated upon the Peter Jacob’s work for the promotion and protection of religious and other freedoms.Civil Society acknowledges Peter Jacob’s contribution to human rights

Academic, writer and analyst Wajahat Masood said that we the citizens refuse to accept the division of majority and minority based on religion, and we will continue to agitate against the discriminatory provisions in the constitution. The constitution is a social contract between the state and its citizens, and we aspire for a dispensation in Pakistan espousing equality of status, dignity, rights, and opportunities for all citizens without any discrimination.

Clara Strandhoj said that the founding father of Pakistan Jinnah championed the ideals of tolerance, equality, and inclusion, so his vision must be followed as a guiding principle to strengthen laws and policies so that they could help address hate crimes and religion-based violence with impunity, improve the implementation of human rights, and run the country in the right direction. While appreciating the work of human rights defenders, she reiterated her country’s commitment to Pakistan for peace and development, and importantly improving the observance of human rights.

Karl Roger appreciated the dedicated efforts of Peter Jacob for human rights in general, and religious freedom in particular. He stated that USA was committed to promoting religious freedom and democracy at home and abroad. He said that acts of discrimination, intolerance, and violence must be prevented.

Justice (retd) Nasira Iqbal congratulated Peter Jacob for this well-deserved recognition, and termed it a remarkable achievement for all Pakistanis, as human rights defenders like Peter Jacob worked hard to promote social cohesion and equality of rights for all.

Tanveer Jahan said that discrimination on the grounds of religion was unacceptable. Peter Jacob’s work stands out for using research and evidence-based advocacy to bring about positive reforms in laws and policies. The human rights defenders will not compromise on the principles and standards of human rights and carry on their efforts to stop human rights violations.

Amjad Saleem Minhas appreciated Peter Jacob as he demonstrated courage, perseverance, consistency and tolerance in the field of human rights, as well as showing alternative narratives to address human rights issues which caused positive human rights developments in Pakistan.

Arif Saeed said that Peter Jacob has several achievements to his credit, and winning such an award is a huge milestone. A society cannot survive unless the efforts by persons like Peter Jacob are made for the promotion of peace, tolerance, human development, and human rights.

Saroop Ijaz advocate said that Peter Jacob worked hard to get the hate material removed from the textbooks and strengthen the political participation of minorities, for which he deserves recognition.

Speaking on the occasion, Peter Jacob stated that he received this award with humility and on behalf of a large number of human rights defenders who strived for human rights and democratic space, particularly the team at Centre for Social Justice and the entire civil society in Pakistan. He was called to stand up with seven other people of dedication and courage for the International Religious Freedom Award from Nigeria, Iraq, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Lithuania, Canada and South Africa. This award shall encourage the civil society to continue collective efforts for meaningful and positive changes in our beloved country, Pakistan.

Mati-Ullah is the Online Editor For DND. He is the real man to handle the team around the Country and get news from them and provide to you instantly.

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