Human rights never remained priority for state: IA Rahman

KARACHI – Human rights have never remained a priority for the state, as these are not just a constitutional matter but a complete lifestyle.

“Inclusion of human rights in the curriculum could lead towards the establishment of a peaceful society.” These views were expressed by veteran journalist and head of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan IA Rahman while presiding over a session on the second and last day of the first International Marathon Conference 2016 on Media Education: Theory, Industry and Research in Pakistan, organised by the Karachi University’s (KU) Mass Communication Department.

KU’s Faculty of Management Sciences Dean Professor Dr Khalid Iraqi, Peshawar University’s Mass Communication Department Chairman Dr Altafullah and Mahwish Ali from Sardar Bahadur Khan University Quetta were on panel of the session.

“Human rights bill was passed in 1950, but it failed to make its way to the constitution due to changes in state priorities,” IA Rahman said, adding, “The inclusion of Article 25-A [Right to Education] was a landmark step towards declaring education a fundamental right of Pakistani citizens.”

“Now it is the responsibility of the media and citizens of Pakistan to ensure its application,” he opined.

Prof Dr Khalid Iraqi, while presenting his paper, deliberated on the importance of including a subject on human rights in the curriculum, and called for the revision of media curriculum on practical grounds.

Dr Altafullah said that journalists must revisit their priorities. “It is difficult for them to report news on human rights and also to control their emotions,” he said, and added, “They must adopt the mapping procedure during the human rights issues coverage.”

He called for adopting Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a guideline for the journalists.

Tasneem Ahmar of Aks was of the view that journalists and media students must be vigilant and careful while publishing and broadcasting news related to women and children.

In a session on Freedom of Press and Media Economy, Herald Editor Badar Alam said that there were four stakeholders in media economy, namely the workforce ie the journalists, publishers who invest their money, readers, listeners or viewers who are consumers of the media content, and government and other regulatory bodies.

“We often talk about wages of journalists but dare to discuss media economy and its impact on press freedom,” he argued.

Senior journalists Jabbar Khattak, Ghazi Salahuddin, Dr Rauf Parekh, Wusatullah Khan, journalist and broadcaster Raza Ali Abidi, Chief Editor of Jasarat Athar Hashmi, former federal minister Javed Jabbar, Prof Sheraz Paracha from Wali Khan University, Mardan, social media expert Hasan Khan, Dr Naveed Iqbal, Senior Executive Producer of Geo News Jibran Peshimam, Scholar Dr Irfan Aziz, Dean of Social Sciences, Szabist, Dr Riaz Sheikh, Dr Ashraf Khan and other also shared their views during different sessions of the conference.

The Nation

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Tags: Human Rights