KARACHI: “We should have a State in which we could live and breathe as free men and which we could develop according to our own lights and culture and where principles of Islamic social justice could find free play.” These are the words uttered by founding father of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, made us recall on ‘World Day of Social Justice’ being observed today (February 20).
Contrary to Quaid's words, provision of speedy justice to the poor and disadvantaged segment in Pakistan remains an arduous task to accomplish for authorities at the helm of affairs.
The General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed February 20 as World Day of Social Justice in 2007, inviting Member States to devote the day to promoting national activities in accordance with the objectives and goals of the World Summit for Social Development and the twenty-fourth session of the General Assembly.
The world summit for social development was held in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1995 and resulted in the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action. At this summit, more than 100 political leaders pledged to make the conquest of poverty and full employment, as well as stable, safe and just societies, and their overriding objectives.
Nearly 10 years later, the UN member states reviewed the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action when they gathered at a session of the Commission for Social Development in New York in February 2005.
Observance of World Day of Social Justice should support efforts of the international community in poverty eradication, the promotion of full employment and decent work, gender equity and access to social well-being and justice for all.
The importance of social justice is marked by organizing seminars, rallies, conferences and TV programs. Not to any surprise, several countries have failed to even ensure provision of social justice to their citizens.
The day is also marked here with holding of symposiums and rallies, but citizens see such activities mere as lip-service to the important day.
Widespread terrorism, frequent bomb blasts, abduction for ransom and other such evils in the society have shattered the confidence of people. Yet for a way out to their problems, people still await justice… social justice.