Afkar-e-Taza Lahore #ThinkFest 2018

Via Destinations Magazine:

Watch one of the most powerful moments of the @Thinkfest with Farahnaz Ispahani on a panel with Jibran Nasir discussing the condition and treatment of minorities in Pakistan. Here Ms Ispahani responds to a disgruntled audience member.

“This is about us standing together and not apart…Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and the PML-N are standing up for democracy. My husband was jailed by him, but today I stand with Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif because he is standing for democracy and the unity of Pakistan.

All institutions must change the definition, so please do not, with me or anyone else bring this down to petty politics. I am not better than Jibran or Arafat, we all work in different ways inside and outside this society…

You are not an Ahmadi Muslim you are not a Sunni Muslim we are Pakistanis that was Mr. Jinnah’s message and that is what I came here to talk about today. “

Human Rights

Farahnaz Ispahani has been a leading voice for women and religious minorities in Pakistan for over two decades, working as a journalist, member of Pakistan’s National Assembly, and most recently as a United States-based scholar. An advocate of Pakistan’s return to democracy during the military regime of Pervez Musharraf, she served as a spokesperson and international media coordinator for the Pakistan People’s Party, working alongside the late Benazir Bhutto. During her tenure in parliament (2008–2012), she was a member of the Foreign Affairs and Human Rights committees and the Women’s Parliamentary Caucus. In 2013 and 2014 she was a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, where she completed Purifying the Land of the Pure: Pakistan's Religious Minorities (Harper Collins, India 2016 & Oxford University Press, US 2017) a book on the persecution of religious minorities in Pakistan. In 2012 she was listed among Foreign Policy magazine’s Top 100 Global Thinkers, as well as Newsweek Pakistan’s Top 100 Women Who Matter.

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