ISLAMABAD-Political and rights activist Jalila Haider on Friday won the first-ever ‘Pakistan Peace Award’ for her work and contribution to bring tolerance and sustainable peace in the country.

The Peace Award was given to   Jalila here at the ‘Pakistan Peace Festival’ organised by Pak Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS) at the Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA). Adviser to Prime Minister on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan, Qamar Zaman Kaira was the chief guest at both ceremonies of ‘Pakistan Peace Prize Award’ and ‘launch of Charter of Peace’.

The lawmakers, academicians, former diplomats, retired army officers, journalists, rights activists, and representatives of civil society participated in the event besides others.  

Jalila Haider won the Peace Award after a tough scrutiny among 10 contestants by a panel of jury including Council of Islamic Ideology Chairman Dr Qibla Ayaz, and Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) Chairperson Hina Jilani besides others.

Jalila is a human rights attorney and founder of ‘We the Humans – Pakistan’, a non-profit organisation, which works to lift local communities by strengthening opportunities for vulnerable women and children. She specialises in defending women’s rights and provides free counselling and legal services to women in poverty.  

While receiving the award, Jalila announced to donate the award money to flood victims.

Adviser to PM Qamar Zama Kaira, speaking at the event, deplored that the country’s dream of ‘state like a mother’ has yet to come true. He urged the need for collective efforts to bring peace and tolerance in the society.  He underlined that the people, having intolerant behaviours have a representation in this class-based society. He said that only bringing democracy was not the solution to the problem and intuitions would have to be delivered and they needed to change their behaviours.    

HRCP Chairperson Jilani, in her remarks, said that the importance of the Peace Award was that it was going to give recognition to the efforts of civil society.