“I think cultural diversity makes human rights even richer. It is a part of human rights to actually respect cultural diversity, to encourage it. But cultural diversity does not mean inhuman treatment of other human beings.”
Democracies are defined by the strength of their civil societies, which are inherently made up of individuals. Given this regard, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan was formed in 1987 by none other than the late, Ms. Asma Jahangir. With authoritative oppression by violation of rights such as freedom of speech or mobilization in place as a legacy of Martial Law for Pakistan, human rights were never at the fore front of Pakistan’s major discourse. But this changed, with the formation of this organization. Its major proponent – Ms. Jahangir – actively highlighted the misuse of Pakistan’s Hudood and Blasphemy Laws, happening which were usually met with impunity. But with the momentum built up by Ms. Jahangir, these issues were in the major forefronts of Pakistan’s policy circles, even now organizations such as Justice Project Pakistan and even the government are taking active steps to work for women, minority and prisoner rights. It goes to show how one individuals efforts can leaving a lasting impact, a legacy. More of us should aspire to make it as well.