South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

Staff Correspondent

“Right thinking people of Pakistan” acknowledge and accept the brutalities done to the people of Bangladesh during the military action in 1971, said Pakistani human rights activist Hina Jilani.

Jilani, chairperson of South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR), made the comment in reply to a question about Pakistani government’s recent denial of the genocide its army committed in Bangladesh during the Liberation War in 1971.

She was speaking at a press conference titled “South Asian Peace Mission” organised by SAHR at the Jatiya Press Club in the capital yesterday.

SAHR is a regional network committed to addressing human rights issues at both national and regional levels.

Hina said the struggle for freedom of the Bangladeshis in fact gave many Pakistanis the courage to question the oppressive military government.

In reply to another question on the Pakistan government’s interference in the trial of the war criminals of Bangladesh, Hina said that as a Pakistani citizen and a human rights defender, she believed in the importance of transitional justice, but the process of justice must conform to all standards of law.

She also said her government needed to do some “introspection” before commenting on the legal process of another country.

Leading an eight-member delegation from Pakistan, the Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka, Hina came here on a two-day peace mission to bring the message of regional peace and solidarity amongst South Asian civil societies.

At yesterday’s press conference, Sultana Kamal, executive director of Ain O Salish Kendra and also a Bureau Member of SAHR, Bangladesh, talked about the regional human rights network. She said it envisages “a region that promotes, protects, and respects women’s human rights as equal citizens and where women’s contributions in peace building are not only recognised, but also actively facilitated”.

During the two-day visit, SAHR delegates met university students, policymakers and officials of foreign ministry and highlighted the common threats, including intolerance and rise of fanaticism, faced by the region and possible ways to tackle these challenges by working together.

Rights activists and SAHR members from Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives were present at yesterday’s programme.

Updated On:  December 07, 2015