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Speakers at a training programme underlined the need for a firm political wisdom

ISLAMABAD; Saturday, 5 Nov 2011 8:34 pm - Speakers at a training programme underlined the need for a firm political wisdom, necessary legislation, legal formation and incorporation of human rights education in school curriculum to highlight importance of human rights in the society.
The training session was arranged for law students about human and refugee rights by Society for Human Rights and Prisoners (SHARP).
Addressing the participants, Standing Committee for Interior Chairman Senator Talha Mehmood said human rights violation was the biggest obstacle in the development of the Country. Qaiser Siddiqui from UNESCO, in his presentation on “Basic Human Rights” said that history of human rights is as old as history of mankind itself. He said individual sovereignty is inherent in the individual human being and is embodied in the free will. Speaking on the occasion Mr Jahangir Durrani from UNHCR said that refugee problem has been in Pakistan since its independence as millions of refugees migrated from India to Pakistan during the partition of sub continent. Than a mass influx of Afghan nationals came from Afghanistan to Pakistan after Soviet invasion in Afghanistan.
Pakistan has been the most generous country, who has hosted more than 3 million Afghan refugees, protected them, assisted them ad supported them voluntary return to Afghanistan.1.7 million Afghans have been registered in Pakistan, which by far is the largest refugee population anywhere in the world.
Further, he said that it is important to note that the country that has shown a lot of support, and generosity to Afghan refugees ironically has not acceded to 1951 convention, does not even have refugee legislation. The Foreigners’ Act 1946 governs the entry, stay and departure of foreigners in Pakistan. He further talked about International Legal Framework, World War I and World War II resulted in greater need of a new international instrument to define the legal status of refugees, as it resulted a huge number of people displaced from one place to another. These factors resulted in the Establishment of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on December 14, 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly.
He said that the mandate derived from the UNHCR statute, which is to give international protection to the refugees and to find out durable solution for them. UNHCR is not restricted to the refugees but it is also dealing IDP`s in its extended mandate as they are not mentioned in the statute of UNHCR.
Aqsa Khan, Executive Director, Women Organization for Rights and Development highlighted the issues of Women and Child Rights in Pakistan in her presentation. She said that the only International instrument on women rights is CEDAW which Pakistan acceded on 29th February, 1996 and for implementation, ministry of women development was the designated national focal machinery.


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