The Chairman of SHARP-Pakistan is a lawyer by profession, honored with Presidential Award ‘Defender of Human Rights’ for his commitment and services to the humanity. Having over 25 years of experience in the field of human rights and law, . Mr. Banori is also a columnist, and has been regularly giving his thoughts on various socio-political issues in leading newspapers in Pakistan.
Protection has been the core focus area for SHARP since its inception in 1999, and we are dedicatedly extending our our services to the destitute and deprived segments of the society. It has been nearly two decades that we are struggling for the protection, and promotion of human rights in Pakistan. However, the situation continues to be dismal.
The democratic system continues to face pressures, and sometimes outright disruptions. This has led to undermining of rule of law, violation of human rights, and marginalization of various segments of society. Basic rights of the citizens like health, education, right to information, and right to life remain under threat. SHARP continues to extend its services to the victims of rights violations. However, the problem is too big to be handled by SHARP alone.
Pakistan continues to host a very large number of refugees from various countries – the largest among them are Afghan refugees; they are not only the largest in numbers but also the longest in terms of refugee status as well. Pakistan continues to deal with this chronic problem with ad-hoc arrangements. There is no defined policy on refugees, and Pakistan has not signed the UN Convention on Refugees 1951. SHARP has developed expertise through its work for refugees, and through its long term partnerships with UNHCR. It continues to provide necessary support to the refugees directly, and keep raising its voice on the issues being faced by refugees in Pakistan.
I would like to reaffirm our commitment to the cause of human rights and to making Pakistan a state that respects human rights despite all kinds of problems. We are grateful to our partners including UNHCR, ICMC, SDC, relevant government departments, our staff and volunteers, and last but not the least, to the refugees and other partner communities. It would not have been possible for SHARP to have extended its support to such a large number of vulnerable people without these partners.
Syed Liaqat Banori
Advocate High Court
Society for Human Rights and Prisoners’ Aid (SHARP-Pakistan).
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