Peter Jacob Celebrated for His Dedication to Human Rights in Pakistan

Islamabad - In a significant recognition of human rights advocacy in Pakistan, the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), in collaboration with the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and Christian Study Centre, hosted a reception to honor Peter Jacob. Jacob was recently awarded the prestigious U.S. Department of State's International Religious Freedom Award for his remarkable efforts in promoting human rights.

The event was attended by distinguished guests including Farhat Ullah Babar, Dr. Shaoib Suddle, Harris Khalique, Shafique Chaudhry, Bishop Samuel Azariah, Dr. Khalid Masud, and Jennifer Jag Jivan, who all shared their insights on Jacob’s significant contributions. The reception was also joined by journalists, lawyers, teachers, human rights activists, and representatives from diplomatic missions of the USA, UK, Canada, France, and the European Union.

Former PPP Senator Farhat Ullah Babar spoke about the Supreme Court's concerns over the police’s flawed investigation in the Jaranwala incident, highlighting the serious challenges faced by minorities in Pakistan. He pointed out the persisting human rights issues due to misuse of religion by religio-political forces leading to intolerance and violence.

Harris Khalique discussed the misuse of religion as a tool for radicalization and division among citizens, calling for dialogue and respect for dissenting voices. He urged the government to implement the Supreme Court’s (Jillani) judgment to address religious freedom and minority rights.

Peter Jacob emphasized the need for political parties to fulfill their electoral promises regarding minority rights. He acknowledged the award as a collective achievement for human rights defenders and called for continued efforts towards meaningful change in Pakistan. Jacob highlighted his involvement in successful campaigns, including the joint electorate and amendments in Hudood laws.

Dr. Shoaib Suddle raised concerns about governance issues affecting the implementation of laws and court orders, thus undermining human rights. Shafique Chaudhry praised Jacob for bringing honor to Pakistan and emphasized the need for authorities to acknowledge and address multiple challenges, including human rights and security. Bishop Samuel Azariah stressed the importance of progressing towards positive legal and policy changes.

This event and the award to Peter Jacob signify the international community's recognition of the vital role played by civil society in advocating for human rights in Pakistan.