Asma on philosophy of change
LAHORE, Dec 25: Supreme Court Bar Association’s former president Asma Jahangir has said the world is in need of a change that does not result in destruction but brings about positive results for everyone.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the ninth five-day Lahore University of Management Sciences Model United Nations (LUMUN) conference on the varsity campus on Tuesday, Ms Jahangir said a clean-up that could result in harm to minorities or leave a negative
impression on the world was uncalled for.
“We do not need a clean-up that is derogatory but a clean-up of systems and corrupt practices,” she said.
Ms Jahangir said people mostly judged Pakistan by its extremist side but they must understand that it was a complex country. She said Pakistan had extremists and authoritarians as well as liberals and democrats. She said there were also people who used the ladder of democracy to get to the top and then kicked it off once they reached the destination.
“Either you believe in democracy or you don’t believe in democracy,” she said.
Emphasising the route that must be taken to enable change, she asked, “We are all for change, we are all for clean-up. But what is the process for change? What is the process for cleanup?”
Ms Jahangir said positive and negative changes had taken place in the world and added that extremism and intolerance had increased not only in Pakistan but all over the world. Still, she said, people were able to talk about things they were not allowed to talk about a few years back.
“The authoritarians only respect the rights of those who look, think and feel like them but we should stand up for rights of everyone including the minorities,” she stressed.
She said no culture in the world accepted torture, humiliation or wanted discrimination. The UN Charter of Human Rights provided the minimum barriers that everyone should follow so that society could learn to respect the religion, beliefs and freedom of individuals.
Stating that the technology had brought the whole world together, Ms Jahangir added that dialogue could take place between societies and partnerships could be formed between people of the same point of view. She, however, regretted that every day one could see that dialogues were moving towards bloodshed, while arms and technology was being used in a destructive way.
“This makes the world frightening and uncertain but change will come and it is coming. This change must come from within because no external force can bring this,” she added.
LUMUN President Zarak Pasha said the LUMUN-IX was about redefining tomorrow and it would surely leave the delegates with a heightened sense of purpose. “This is the conference where ideas are not only exchanged but also born,” he said.
LUMS Pro-Chancellor Syed Babar Ali, LUMS Vice-Chancellor Dr Adil Najam and LUMUN Patron Shaharyar Khan also spoke.
Later, a video clip made by the LUMUN-IX team was shown to the audience, which elaborated on the message of “Embracing Responsibility, Enabling Change”. The LUMUN-IX trophy was also unveiled on the occasion.
The first session of debates will begin on Wednesday (today) at 9am.