International conference on “Human Rights Challenges and Prospects” held

Lahore, November 08, 2018 (PPI-OT): Speakers at the international conference on “Human Rights Challenges and Prospects” have said that it is time for the voices of reason and responsibility in the world to caution against militarism and demand strict adherence by all states, large and small, to the UN Charter’s central principle: the prohibition of the use or threat of use of force in international relations.

In his key note address at the opening ceremony of conference, veteran Pakistani diplomat Mr. Shamshad Ahmad Khan said that in the emerging scenario, no other region in the world today was as volatile and unstable as South Asia with continuing Afghan turmoil with all its ramifications and longstanding India-Pakistan conflict and hostility.

Mr Shamshad Khan, the former foreign secretary, also believed that that peace in South Asia would remain elusive as long as Kashmir remains under Indian occupation. “The world must know that it’s a question involving the fundamental right of self-determination of the Kashmiri people, pledged to them by the international community as well as by both India and Pakistan,” he added.

Mr. Shamshad Khan, also highlighted the human rights violations in Kashmir by the Indian armed forces. He also talked about the growing challenges of human rights globally particularly of children and women’s rights. The veteran diplomat said that the human rights challenges were many, but the prospects are so very bleak. “We are living today in a world that could not be more chaotic and more turbulent. Armed conflict remains pervasive. Might always considered wrong has never been claimed so right,” he said.

As many as eleven foreign speakers from USA, China, Belgium, Singapore, Uzbekistan and Sri Lanka attended the opening ceremony of the three-day conference organized by the Political Science Department of GC University Lahore in collaboration with the federal and provincial higher education commissions to analyze the new researched data, concepts, approaches, ideas and methods vis-a-vis human rights and formulate a more constructive framework to revert the aforesaid daunting trends.

Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) Chairman Prof Dr Mohammad Nizamuddin, who was chief guest at the opening ceremony, said that the world had the agreed charters on human rights but it needed practical solutions to implement them. He laid a stress on academia to debate and formulate practical solutions and polices to counter the abuse of human rights in global and domestic perspectives.

Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah said the themes of GCU’s conference were mostly related to vulnerable segments of the society, not only in Pakistan but in global perspective. The conference seeks to explore economic, political and social dimensions of Human Rights, covering a wide range of concerns of different stakeholders.

“I expect that scholars will shed light on the topic beyond the traditional parameters of academic discussions and contribute in formulation of methodological framework that must comprehend the concept of Human Rights within the context of local and global realities and real international politics,” the VC concluded.

Earlier, his opening speech, Prof Dr Khalid Manzoor Butt, the conference chairman, said that scholars and social activists from John Locke to Asma Jehangir had strived to aware and educate the people about their Human Rights and to sensitise the stakeholders.

“UN declaration of Human rights is the land mark achievement at international level and regarded as yard stick to measure conditions of Human Rights in a society but still a long way to go and various countries and societies have to give attention to this important aspect of human being,” he said.

The conference chairman said Kashmir, Palestine and Rohangia Muslims of Mianmar were prime examples of Human Rights violations and international community was unable to address these challenging issues of contemporary age. “Similarly, minorities and immigrants have been suffering in many countries. Women, Children, labourers and third gender are most vulnerable communities particularly in third world countries. In this conference, paper presenters will highlight different aspects of Human Rights its challenges and prospects,” Prof Khalid Butt concluded.

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