LAHORE: Chief Justice of Pakistan Tassaduq Husain Jillani has said empowerment of women is a key to realising the cherished goal of a tolerant, moderate and progressive Pakistan where all of its citizens enjoy equality in rights, equitable opportunities and reach excellence in their chosen professions.
The CJP was speaking at the 77th convocation of Kinnaird College for Women here on Saturday.
Addressing the students, Justice Jillani said: “You are fortunate to have had the benefit of liberal education from a prestigious institution but you must never forget you owe a debt to the community and to the nation at large.”
The CJP said: “We are living in a country where more than half of the population under the age of 22 could not go to schools, more than 1,000 schools and colleges were destroyed by insurgents in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The country spends a meagre amount of 1.9pc of its national budget on education whereas the UN minimum benchmark is 4.5pc of the GDP.”
He said Pakistan was a country where according to a report of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, 56 women were killed in 2013 for giving birth to a girl, where 491 cases of domestic violence, 344 of assault on women, 90 of acid attack and 835 cases of violence against women were registered last year.
He said the superior judiciary was cognizant of the problems faced by women and had adopted a dynamic approach to protect their rights under the law. He said the judgments rendered by the courts had given effect to the constitutional provisions in letter and spirit.
He said the judiciary in Pakistan had been a catalyst for enforcing the rule of law under the Constitution and it had strengthened democracy, expanded the fundamental rights and ushered in a moral renaissance.
He said, “We have a vibrant and vigilant civil society which makes its voice heard on most issues of societal and national concerns; the strong and vocal media which has acted as the fourth pillar of the State.”
The media had brought injustices in focus, made the state institutions more responsive and accountable and enhanced public awareness of the issues, he added. In the end, the chief justice awarded medals to the students.