12th April 2022
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on Tuesday held a memorial on the first death anniversary of iconic human rights defender, journalist and founding member of the Commission, I. A. Rehman.
HRCP Director Farah Zia inaugurated the event, calling attention to the extremely volatile political situation in Pakistan in these few weeks, and stated that in such trying times, I. A. Rehman is dearly missed. The memorial was attended by prominent civil society activists as well as friends and family members.
In remembering the work and legacy of I. A. Rehman, speakers pointed out that the gap between the generations is unfortunately widening, with young men and women being completely unaware of their predecessors’ struggle for and contribution toward the supremacy of democracy and guarantee of fundamental human rights.
Artist, educationist and daughter of the revolutionary poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Salima Hashmi, stated that I. A. Rehman’s absence was felt most intensely this past year.
Founding Director of South Asia Partnership Pakistan, Mohammad Tahseen, was of the view that there is a dire need to pass on I. A. Rehman’s knowledge and his passion for human rights advocacy to the next generation.
Executive Director of the Center for Social Justice, Peter Jacob, also agreed that I. A. Rehman passed down important knowledge to his contemporaries and students, and that there should be a concerted effort to ensure that the youth is able to partake in this knowledge.
Executive Director of the Democratic Commission for Human Development, Tanveer Jahan, however felt that discourse has changed so much that it is even more difficult for the newer generations to carry forward I. A. Rehman’s legacy than it already is for his friends and colleagues. She urged for activities and events be arranged annually
I. A. Rehman’s heirs also shared some memories, revealing that the eminent journalist set his professional life completely apart from his familial life, and said that they had learned of a different side to him at the event.
The memorial wrapped up with a brief announcement that the HRCP has decided to name its committee room to the I. A. Rehman Committee Room in his honour.