ISLAMABAD  – Rich tributes were paid by the speakers to the struggle of former senator, federal minister, human rights activist and lawyer Iqbal Haider at a condolence reference arranged by Sindh Graduates Association, Islamabad branch, on Sunday.

Speaking on the occasion leading civil society representatives lauded the uncompromised stance of Iqbal Haider throughout his life for the rights of poor, deprived and those who suffered prosecution and violations of rights.

Rights activist Tahira Abdullah said that the struggle of Syed Iqbal Haider will be reflected in true history of Pakistan when it is written in future. “He was one of those men who don’t care for their recognition in worldly terms but are always recognized by the poor and exploited” she said. Tahira said Iqbal Haider was founding Federal Minister for Human Rights who has managed to convince then Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto to change the name of Federal Law Ministry to include human rights in it.

She said Iqbal Haider stood by the vision of secular and progressive Pakistan and struggled for that till his death.  She insisted that he preferred his principles over political affiliation and distanced himself from the Pakistan Peoples Party when he thought that the party was not standing by its own principles. “Iqbal Haider was also the first person to highlight the cases of enforced disappearances on international forums including bringing a delegation of International Commission of Jurists to Pakistan and filed a petition in the supreme Court” she insisted.

Writer and Chief Executive of Strengthening Participatory Organization (SPO) Naseer Memon said that Iqbal Haider was one of those few people who could speak out against those forces of oppression who could not be criticized in public domain. “He did not care about the consequences while speaking out truth against those who believed in violation of others’ rights in one form or the other” he said. 

SGA Islamabad President Yousif Memon said that the demise of Iqbal Haider is big loss for the struggle of human rights in Pakistan. He said SGA believed in highlighting the struggle and efforts of those people who fought for the rights of others all their life.