Democracy guarantees peace, safeguards human rights: Pervaiz

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Law, Justice and Human Rights Pervaiz Rashid said on Tuesday democracy guaranteed peace and safeguarded human rights.

The minister said this in a meeting with Swedish Parliament Speaker Per Westerberg, who called on him along with a parliamentary delegation here.

He said Pakistan highly valued its ties with Sweden as both nations shared the common values of parliamentary democracy and pluralism.

He said the government believed in women empowerment as Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif had emphasised on the need for increased participation by women in all spheres of public life.

Pervaiz Rashid told the delegation that women parliamentarians in Pakistan played a proactive role by participating in debates and giving valuable suggestions and proposals in the committees of the House.

The parliament had also adopted many legislative measures to ensure gender equality and women rights in Pakistan, the minister said.

He said the National Commission on the Status of Women was functioning and the issues related to violence against women were taken up accordingly.

Pakistan was a democratic state where free media and a vibrant civil society played their due role by cultivating public awareness regarding their inalienable rights and rights towards the state, he added.

The present democratic government had signed various memorandums of understanding (MoUs) related to human rights with INGOs and “we are fully cognizant of our obligations as a responsible member of international community,” the minister stressed.

He assured the delegation that the government would make every effort to safeguard the rights of minorities as the Constitution of Pakistan already guaranteed it.

Pervaiz Rashid emphasized on the need for parliamentary exchanges between the two countries as it would help promote bilateral ties between Sweden and Pakistan.

He also urged them to take advantage of the investment opportunities in Pakistan, particularly in the field of energy and infrastructure.

He said Pakistan would like to build a broad based, substantive and long term relationship with Sweden on the basis of mutual respect and cooperation.

Per Westerberg, Speaker of the Swedish Parliament, agreed with the minister on the need of regular parliamentary exchanges as it would enhance bilateral relations between the two countries.

He also wished that democracy might further flourish and take its roots in Pakistan.

The delegation was comprised Gunnar Axen, Chair of the Committee on Social Insurance, Lars Johansson, member of the Committee on Transport and Communication, Wiwi-Anne Johansson, member of the Committee on Social Insurance, Ms Karin Nilsson, member of the Committee on Taxation, Kathrin Flossing, Secretary General and Sarah Everas Sidibe, Press Secretary to Speaker.

Secretary Law, Justice and Human Rights Barrister Zafarullah Khan was also present in the meeting.