Islamabad-Collaborative efforts are needed for ensuring rule of law and supremacy of Constitution to protect fundamental rights of citizens, speakers said on Monday.

The speakers were addressing a roundtable dialogue organised by National Commission for Human Rights, Inter-University Consortium for Promotion of Social Sciences (IUCPSS) and Centre of Civic Education Pakistan (CCEP) at Preston University.

The event was organised in connection with the International Human Rights Day which was attended by diplomats, academicians, media representatives and members of the civil society.

The speakers said that collaborative efforts were needed to be undertaken for ensuring the rule of law, equality of citizenship, freedom of expression, merit and independence of judiciary to ensure provision of fundamental rights.

National Coordinator IUCPSS Murtaza Noor stated that constitution was considered as a social contract between the state and its citizens. “In Pakistan, fundamental rights are enshrined in the Constitution as the entire chapter first of the Constitution contains articles about fundamental rights from articles 8 to 28,” he said.

Dr Shehzad Ashraf, President Federation of All Pakistan Universities’ Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA), underlined importance of academic freedom at campuses and effective implementation of constitutional clauses related to protection of fundamental rights of the citizens.

He stated that social media had revolutionized the right to expression and information. He emphasised extending support and standing for others’ rights, especially weak segments of the society, against the injustice, inequalities, discrimination and human right violations.

Ch Muhammad Shafique, member National Commission for Human Rights, highlighted the history of human rights and main functions of the National Commission for Human Rights.

He said that all human rights’ documents including the last address by Holy Prophet (PBUH) and Charter of Medina were based upon the principles of equality and dignity. There is dire need to include essence and main articles related to human rights agreements in curriculum at all tiers of education, he stressed.