Islamabad-Despite making notable progress in promotion of interfaith harmony among citizens, Pakistan still lags far behind in addressing the issues of human rights, speakers said on Wednesday.

Ministry of Human Rights bestowed ‘Human Rights Award’ upon Universal Interfaith Peace Mission, Islamabad - a gold medal winning organisation of World Interfaith Harmony Week and Cleft Hospital, Gujarat, for their services in their respective fields here on Wednesday.

The Human Rights Award has been bestowed upon UIPM Chairman Dr Allama GR Chishti for his services in field of interfaith harmony and work for rights of minorities in Pakistan as well as his efforts for promoting peace, love and brotherhood in society.

Ministry of Human Rights Director General Mohammad Arshad, Ambassador of European Union delegation to Pakistan, Jean Francois Cautain, Ambassador of Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Nawaf Khalifah Sararieh, Canadian scholar Dr Bishan Singh, Allama Sajid Naqvi, Dr Amineh Hoti, Dr Seema, Jibran Gill, ulema, scholars from various religions attended the ceremony.

UIPM Chairman Dr Chishti expressed his gratitude to Ministry of Human Rights for honouring him with Human Rights Award.

He said that he would like to avail this opportunity to draw the attention of a recent visit of Human Rights Watch delegation to Pakistan which had pointed out that Pakistan lags far behind other countries in terms of human rights. In his meeting with European Union Special Envoy, the latter also pointed out that Pakistan has not made notable progress in promotion of interfaith harmony.

 “Pakistan is signatory to United Nations Human Rights Declaration 1948 which in its preamble has declared that ‘Right of life, dignity of humanity, freedom of religion and conscience of expression’ is right of every human being’. It has also been written in our Constitution that all laws will be according to Islamic orders as explained in Quran and Sunnah,” he said.

He also said that Pakistan signed covenant of United Nations Human Rights Declaration 1948, where a clause clearly points out that no law will be against human rights. But in my view both these things are contradictory and are paradoxical.

He pointed out that he will be leading a UIPM delegation to Parliament of the World’s Religions, at Metro Centre, Toronto, Canada in November 2018, where he will explain the true message of Common Word Movement.

“I will draw the attention of Ministry of Human Rights and Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony to implement the Common Word Movement in Pakistan and voluntarily offer the services of UIPM so that the image of Muslims gets better in the committee of nations,” he added.