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SCBA rejects allegations about Asma Jahangir conference

SCBA rejects allegations about Asma Jahangir conference
November 23, 2021 --- Web Desk

ISLAMABAD (92 News) – The Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan (SCBA) has rejected the allegations about the Asma Jahangir conference held in Lahore.

According to a press statement issued on Tuesday, the SCBA co-hosted the 3rd Annual Asma Jahangir Conference along with the Pakistan Bar Council and AGHS Legal Aid Cell on November 20 and 21 in Lahore.

The conference provided a platform for a wide cross section of Pakistani society to engage in a dialogue in the spirit of upholding the rule of law, fundamental rights and democratic values.

The SCBA believes that adherence to the law is a cornerstone of any democracy. The speakers for the conference were invited to give their views and kick start important and sometimes uncomfortable conversations. The SCBA and Asma Jahangir conference did not endorse any speaker's point of view, but provided a platform to diverse voices across Pakistan on critical issues.

The SCBA firmly rejects the allegations made by some of furthering any agenda, other than that of a progressive and democratic Pakistan. "No one was invited or given an opportunity to speak at the conference in violation of any law. The Pakistan Electronic Media Authority (PEMRA) has banned certain categories of individuals from being broadcasted on television; no such prohibition is placed on these individuals addressing public gatherings in general.

"Freedom of expression is crucial for democratic progress and this requires giving space to and listening to critical voices and voices that we disagree with. The SCBA and Asma Jahangir conference attempted to bridge the growing polarization in society by making key stakeholders from the judiciary, lawyers, human rights activists, journalists, government, and opposition speak and listen to each other.

"The Asma Jahangir conference was a tribute to the legacy, vision and mission of Asma Jahangir, a leader and inspiration to us. Asma Jahangir stood for freedom of expression and for fundamental rights even for her worse enemies. Her positions were based on her unshakeable convictions and principles and not on personalities. She spoke up for media houses and political parties that viciously attacked her in the past. SCBA is also committed to her vision and will not be deterred and intimidated by vicious and baseless attacks.

"Rule of law, due process and constitutionalism present the only path forward for our country and SCBA wants to play a constructive role in this journey while maintaining neutrality in partisan politics."