CFD Passes Resolution in Support of Freedom of Religion, Human Rights
passed a resolution based on the vision of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah and in line with the UN Charter at Jashn-e-Faiz held in Karachi on April 17. Among the many who endorsed the document were Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan, Justice (Retd) Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim, Senator (Retd) Iqbal Haider, Arshad Mehmood, Sania Saeed as well-known musicians Laal, Farieha Pervaiz, Fuzon, Shehzad Roy and Strings.
The full text of the resolution is reprinted below.
RESOLUTION BY CITIZENS FOR DEMOCRACY (CFD)
Full Length Version
This 17th of April 2011, on the occasion of Jashn-e-Faiz, the Citizens for Democracy solemnly pledges to defend, to its utmost, the principles contained within the original vision of the Founder of the Nation, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. We express our full adherence to the promise of the Founder that the government and people of Pakistan will “never be found lacking in extending… material and moral support to the oppressed… peoples of the world and in upholding the principles of the United Nations Charter.”
The principles enunciated by Mr Jinnah in his address before the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on August 11, 1947, at Karachi must be fully endorsed and absorbed by due process into the constitution, and implemented in both letter and spirit without any delay by the legislative, executive and judicial organs of the state of Pakistan and its component provinces.
The relevant extract from the Founder’s address is reproduced below:
“You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the State… (the) fundamental principle (is) that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one State…. We should keep (this) in front of us as our ideal and you will find that in (the) course of time, Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims — not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual — but in the political sense, as citizens of the State.”
A few months before his death Mr Jinnah vowed to the nation:
“Pakistan will never be found lacking in extending…support to the oppressed…peoples of the world and in upholding the principles of the United Nation’s Charter.”
Adherence to the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations is not optional for the government and people of Pakistan today. Indeed, we re-affirm, that it is a sacred commitment enshrined in the vow made by the Father of the Nation and re-attested in our signature affixed on the United Nations Charter. Our commitments to this Charter include:
i) The preamble to the Declaration which emphasises:
“… a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want…”
ii) Article 2 which states that “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion….”
iii) Article 3 which affirms that “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.”
iv) Article 7 which affirms that “All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law…”
v) Article 11 (1) which affirms that “Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.”
vi) Article 19 which affirms that “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
vii) Article 28 which affirms that “Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.”
It is the belief of this assembly of persons that the above mentioned entitlement to a social and international order in Pakistan, in which all rights and freedoms enshrined in the Declaration can be realized, is entirely lacking and that the government of Pakistan be strongly urged to respect the principles of the UN Charter and fulfil to the people of Pakistan the pledges made by the Quaid-e-Azam.
Therefore — on the occasion of this massive tribute paid to Pakistan’s de facto Poet Laureate — Faiz Ahmed Faiz — on the occasion of his birth centenary, and in light of the vision of the Founder of Pakistan and our commitment to the UN charter, Citizens for Democracy call upon the government of Pakistan to respect and promote the human rights of all citizens. We demand the government must:
- Protect the life, property and dignity of all citizens of Pakistan and minorities in particular
- Ensure that any violence or incitement to violence, especially murder, is swiftly dealt with by the appropriate authority and false accusations of blasphemy are severely punished
- Amend laws related to blasphemy that lead to violence and injustice.
We appeal to the citizens and institutions of Pakistan to:
- Be tolerant of the diverse opinions that make Pakistan such a vibrant society
- Promote harmony between different communities, religions and ideologies.