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FM Bilawal addresses Re-launch of PPP’s Human Rights Cell

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari message on Kashmir Day

FM Bilawal addresses Re-launch of PPP’s Human Rights Cell

ISLAMABAD, Jun 16 (DNA): Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party, Foreign
Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari addressing a re-launching event by the
PPP’s Human Rights Cell said that the Party wishes to reorganise its
human rights wing from the grassroots level, the responsibility of which
has been given to Secretary General of the Pakistan Peoples Party
Parliamentarians (PPPP) Farhatullah Babar.

Chairman Bilawal said that when it comes to human rights, he could not
think of a better person to lead the reorganising efforts other than
Farhatullah Babar, who now holds a joint charge.

The Pakistan Peoples Party prides itself on its legacy and history when
it comes to human rights, especially during Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto’s
tenure when human rights had become a basic philosophy for the Party.
Our focus has been on bringing about a change legislatively, in addition
to advocacy and activism. Chairman Bilawal said that he is proud to say
that whether it is the expansion of press freedom, the role of women in
Pakistani politics, legislations on women’s rights, labour rights,
minority rights or representation, the PPP has always played the role of
the forerunner.

Today, we are faced with new challenges of the new era. To combat these
challenges, we have to utilise the lessons taught to us by our legacy
and experiences as well as adopt newer strategies. For a party such as
the PPP, it is imperative that there is human rights representation not
only the federal and provincial levels but right down to the district
level and if we are ambitious enough, then all the way down to the union
council level so that we can encourage a new generation of human rights
activists from the grassroots, he said.

Chairman Bilawal said that it seems that much of today’s activism has
been limited to social media, and while there are positive takeaways
from this, the space also has a tendency to turn hyper-partisan and
polarised. The cause of human rights is one that is bipartisan and has
no link to a person’s political, provincial or linguistic identity. If
we wish to preserve the cause, we need to bring the discussion to a
grassroots level, instead of taking place solely on social media

Chairman FM Bilawal said that he looks forward to the reorganisation of
the PPP’s Human Rights Cell. He appealed to the people of Pakistan to
join the PPP and particularly its human rights wing. This is a space
without discrimination, where women, minorities and people from all
walks of life are welcomed. He said that the PPP wants to adopt an
approach that mobilises the society, spreads awareness and allows for
the real issues to be highlighted, such as labour rights, women rights,
farmers’ support, food security and climate change.

Chairman Bilawal said that recent achievements, especially the role
Farhatullah Babar played in the legislation for the transgender
community is appreciated. For the first time in history, there will be
transgender representation in the local governments after the recently
held LG elections in Karachi and the Sindh province. He said that a
bigger accomplishment is that the PPP is also being represented by a
member of the community. As an answer to those who were in strict
opposition to the legislation proposed by Farhatullah Babar, in the
recent LG elections, a member from the same community represented
Jamat-e-Islami. While JI’s Hafiz Naeem ur Rehman has been unsuccessful,
a member of the transgender community belonging to the same party has
emerged triumphant.

Chairman Bilawal said that when we reiterate that democracy is the best
revenge, we are referring to such examples. In the past, when Shaheed
Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto would held electoral campaigns, extremist
circles would raise slogans against her and refuse to accept the rule of
a woman. The day that Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto became the first
woman prime minister in a Muslim-majority state despite the propaganda
was one for the books. She was elected as the PM of the country with the
votes of the very entities that had refused to accept the leadership of
a woman. Hence, democracy remains to be the best revenge. He said that
the PPP broke the glass ceiling and was successful in getting a woman
Speaker elected despite qualms raised by fellow lawmakers. The other day
when watching a livestream of the PTV Parliament, Chairman Bilawal said
that he saw a woman parliamentarian of the very same party sitting on
the Speaker’s chair and heading the assembly session.

Chairman FM Bilawal said that there is a plethora of issues related to
human rights in Pakistan, and discourse should be held over those
matters along with themes that appear to be controversial. However, it
is just as vital to reiterate our triumphs and victories. He said that
on his visit to India, he noted that there was not one Muslim
representative from Modi’s party, the BJP in their assembly or the
Senate. In contrast to this, it is a matter of great pride for the PPP
that it has non-Muslims representation in the provincial assemblies,
local governments as well as the Senate. These members have not only
been given reserved seats but have contested the elections and have been
chosen by the people. Mahesh Malani is the first directly elected
non-Muslim member of the National Assembly.

Chairman FM Bilawal said that when human rights are concerned, it is
part and parcel of the job that we stress on the issues that penetrate
the society. Today was an opportunity to list the accomplishments that
have been achieved through sheer struggle. While the influx of issues
that demand to be addressed remains a challenge, we are hopeful towards
working for their solutions as the Human Rights Cell headed by
Farhatullah Babar is fully established, Chairman FM Bilawal concluded.

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