On 15th November 2017, SHARP ALAC-II team organized One-Day training Workshop in collaboration with UNHCR to sensitize Police officials on â€œHuman & Refugee Rightsâ€ in context of National & International Law at Police Training College, Lahore.
The workshop started off with recitation of Holy Quran. After this, Mr. Usman Ali welcomed all the participants and the Honorable guests on behalf of SHARP-Pakistan. He also highlighted the main objective for conducting this training workshop.
Mr. Hamid Latif, Field Manager/Lawyer welcomed the honorable and worthy participants for sparing their valuable time to attend the above workshop. He initiated the session with introduction of participants and panelists / speakers. Mr. Hamid said that Police officials are supposed to be well equipped with national and international instruments of human rights for effective protection of the victims of Human rights. He said that no step has been taken to educate the masses about the importance of these conventions, its need and impact on our society and identification of redressed forums. He said that the government has no commitment towards human rights and only media is confronting the government on this important human rights issue. It is the responsibility of the Police Officials and the civil society to join hands with media to expose these elements to make sure transparency, true democracy and protection of human rights.
Ms. Imrana (lawyer) welcomed the participants with the introduction of Society for Human Rights and Prisoners Aid (SHARP) an Islamabad based non-governmental organization (NGO) established since 1999 and thesaurus its existence to the concentrated efforts made by a group of lawyers and social workers having strong convictions in the human rights standards set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The main focus of SHARP over the years has been the inspection of Human Rights situation all over the country and provision of free justice to the needy and deprived class of the society.
Mr. Mudassar Javed (Director) delivered a presentation on Human Rights in detail. Under the aspect of solutions, Mr. Mudassar highlighted the core international legal instruments on human rights including the UDHR, the International Convenant on Civil and Political Rights and International Convenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. He equipped the audience with sufficient information on the background of these legal instruments and highlighted the advantages and deficiencies of these instruments. Police officials raised questions as to why there is a lack of stable and legally binding law for human rights. Answering such a question is complex and realistically a question that needs to be posed to state leaders. At the end he thanked the officials for their presence and support.
Mr. Yasir (Representative UNHCR) provided a fascinating presentation on the issue of refugees in Pakistan, this being a concept unknown to the general Pakistani population, especially on the base of the current situation Pakistan faces. His presentation was based around the role of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees internationally and in Pakistan.
The next session was on Foreigners Act 1946 & PITRA delivered by Mr. Mirza Qamar Zaman SSP Legal. Mr. Qamar described that The Foreigners Act, 1946 is a Pakistani law enacted to grant the certain powers to Pakistani government in matters of foreigner in Pakistan. According to Foreigners Act 1946, every householder or other person shall report to the officer in charge of the nearest police station upon arrival or presence in his household or any other premises occupied by him or under his control of any foreigner, if he knows or has reasons to believe that he is a foreigner. Arrests of Afghans under 14 Foreigners Act is against the spirit of the agreement and could tantamount to breach of the agreement. Such arrests can act as a â€˜push factorâ€™ and result in unsustainable return of Afghan national.
Address by Chief Guest Mr. Faisal Shahkar Add I.G Punjab Special Branch Punjab:
Mr. Faisal graced the closing session of the workshop as Chief Guest. He diligently observed the entire workshop, appreciated, and congratulated the SHARP for arranging such a wonderful awareness session for the Police officials. He shared his personal experience and briefed that such intellectual programs should be promoted for the progress of the entire society. He said that this is the responsibility of all stakeholders of the society to work together for the betterment and uplift of the vulnerable segments of the country. He said that no one is ready to stand up for his own rights or for rights of other people. Anyone who passes by a situation where someone elseâ€™s rights are being violated and that person is very well observing the entire scene, does not make an effort of raising voice or does not even make an effort of helping the other person. He further briefed that these workshops must be conducted not only to give awareness to the common person but also to inform officials about their basic rights.
At the end of the training, SHARP-Pakistan presented certificates to participants.