The inaugural edition of the Asma Jahangir Conference 2018, focusing on a theme of ‘Justice for Empowerment,’ will be held this weekend in Lahore.
The invitation-only conference, staged at Avari Hotel on Oct. 13 and 14, will be available to the public via a live-stream on its official website: http://asmajahangir.org/ajconf-2018/.
Hosted by the AGHS Legal Aid Cell, founded by Asma Jahangir (1952-2018) in 1987 to provide free legal assistance to the needy, the conference has been organized in collaboration with the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan.
The star-studded affair will feature personalities from within and outside Pakistan. The participants include, but are not limited to, journalists Hamid Mir and Farieha Aziz, Nepalese journalist and founder of Himal SouthAsian magazine Kanax Mani Dixit, and the Asian Program Coordinator at the Committee to Protect Journalists, Steven Butler.
The conference will also feature internationally recognized activists such as Kamla Bhasin and Orzala Nemat, while the world of law will be represented by former judge to the Australian High Court, Michael Kirby, and local lawyer and founder of the Digital Rights Foundation, Nighat Dad. Other prominent figures include the ambassador of the European Union to Pakistan, Jean-Francois Cautain, and Pakistani politician and activist Bushra Gohar.
The conference aims at celebrating the vision and legacy of Pakistan’s fearless warrior, Asma Jahangir. It will discuss and devise strategies to promote justice through strengthening law and democracy, protection of fundamental rights, and a more independent judiciary.
Asma Jahangir was an internationally acclaimed Pakistani human rights lawyer and social activist who spent her life fighting for justice. She co-founded and chaired the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and played a prominent role in the lawyer’s movement for an independent judiciary. She is famously known to have said: “[In Pakistan] Justice is a rare commodity.” Her belief in the democratic system also remained unshaken, as reflected by her principled stance that “However flawed democracy is, it is still the only answer.”
Jahangir was the recipient of numerous local and international awards and was even posthumously awarded the Nishan-e-Imtiaz, the highest degree of honor given to any civilian in Pakistan in recognition of outstanding service to the country.