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Hina Jilani

Hina Jilani
human rights activist
Born: 30 June 1953
Profession: Lawyer
Affiliation(s): others
Citizenship: pakistani Live in Lahore
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Profile Profile

Hina Jilani (Urdu: ??? ?????? ) (born 1953) is an advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and a human-rights activist from Lahore in Punjab, Pakistan.

Work and Career

Jilani is internationally recognized for her expertise in critical human rights investigations. She started practising law in 1979, when Pakistan was under martial law. In February 1980 with her sister Asma Jahangir, she co-founded Pakistan's first all-female legal aid practice, AGHS Legal Aid Cell (ALAC) in Lahore. Initially the activities were confined to providing legal aid to women, but gradually these activities increased to including legal awareness, education, protection from exploitation, legal research, counseling and providing legal assistance as well. She is also one of the founders of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and the Women's Action Forum (WAF) (a pressure group established in 1980 campaigning against Pakistan's discriminatory legislation) and also founded Pakistan's first legal aid center in 1986.[1] In addition to providing pro bona legal aid, she has also helped set up a shelter for women fleeing violence and abuse, called Dastak in 1991.[2] In addition to managing a shelter, Dastak also organizes workshops to create awareness of human rights and the protection of women.[3]

A lawyer and civil society activist and active in the movement for peace, human rights and women's rights in Pakistan for the last three decades, she specializes in human rights litigation, and is especially concerned with the human rights of women, children, minorities, bonded and child labour, political and other prisoners. She has conducted several cases which have become landmarks in setting human rights standards in Pakistan.[4] Her battle for the rights of children, especially the protection of child laborers engaged in hazardous work, led to the promulgation an act regulating the employment of children in 1991.

Jilani is also affiliated with the United Nations Center for Human Rights, the Carter Center, and the UN Conference on Women.[5] From 2000 to 2008, she was the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Human Rights Defenders.[6] In 2006, she was appointed to the UN International Fact-Finding Commission on Darfur, Sudan. She is also a member of the Eminent Jurists Panel on Terrorism, Counter-terrorism and Human Rights.[7] In 2009, she was appointed to the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict.[8] She is a patron of the Media Legal Defence Initiative.[9] She was the 2008 recipient of the Editor's Award for Outstanding Achievement by The Lawyer Awards.[10]


"The problem with the cases of honour killings and their non-prosecution lies in the permission that the law grants to the family of the victim to compromise the offence, and that's why the person who actually pulls the trigger walks free... although in the case of honour killing it's mostly a conspiracy between more than one member of the family, and that's the major issue here. I don't think the government wishes to address that issue."[11]

"I always had this feeling that if you see injustice, you have to speak out against it; otherwise you are not in a position to complain."[12]

"It was anger against state-sponsored injustice that forced me to enter courtrooms in the 1970s. [...] For all these years I have retained that outrage so I have been able to fight for human rights and against bonded labour, blasphemy laws..." (Monday, 15 March 1999, in Tribune India)

"The right to life of women in Pakistan is conditional on their obeying social norms and traditions."[13]

"There is a real danger of this occurring. The military have an agenda of supporting the extremists and are ideologically very akin to the extremists. It is very important that the world understand how important it is to act in a wise way."

"The United States totally misread the situation. If Musharraf had been successfully countering terrorism, we would not have a situation eight years down the road where (terrorists) actually control territory. Nobody has tried to find the source of the money or the source of the weapons."

"When you put them on trial, you show the wickedness of their crime. Once it becomes abundantly clear that the terrorists' victims are almost entirely comprised of Pakistani civilians, only then will sympathy for their cause be lost. We have to deal with terrorism as a criminal element."

"The civilian government must be supported thoroughly, otherwise we will lose it."[14]

"The administration of justice can be severely hampered if laws emerge from different understandings or perceptions of religion, and their application becomes uneven because of the religious, moral and social beliefs of those administering these laws. Islam and almost all other religions of the world have sectarian and denominational differences. If a national polity is founded on religion, these differences will be manifested in political tensions as well as oppressive restraints on dissent."[15]


As a result their work in the field of women's activism, Jilani and Jahangir, have been arrested, received death threats, and faced hostile propaganda, intimidation, public abuse and murder attempts on themselves and their family.[16] In 1999 after representing the case of Samia Sawar, a young woman who was seeking divorce from her abusive husband, Jilani and Jahangir were again subject to death threats. Samia's mother came with a gunman to her office on the pretext of seeking reconciliation with her daughter. The gunman shot Samia dead and fired at Hina who managed to escape.[17][18] Another time, gunmen entered her house and threatened members of her family. She herself was away from home: the threats put pressure on her to migrate, but she refused, and continues to live and work in Lahore.


Jilani is often invited to speak at various events pertaining to human rights. On 17 September 2009, she delivered the 2009 Hal Wootten Lecture, at the Faculty of Law at the University of New South Wales.[21] On 25 November, she was invited as guest lecturar at McGill University's Faculty of Law, the McGill Centre for Human Rights & Legal Pluralism, on the topic of "The Promise of International Law for Civilian Victims of War: The Goldstone Report".[22] On 27 November 2009 Jilani was invited as a speaker at the Halifax International Security Forum in Canada on "Law vs. Power: Who Rules? Who Makes the Rules?".

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Submited By: Hassan Muhammad Rana
31 July 2011

His Excellency Prime Minister of Pakistan,
Prime Minister Secretariat,

ATT;Hina Jilani Human Rights Activists.



We take this opportunity to solicit your kind attention towards the dismissed – terminated & suspended employees of PTCL which were victimized due to lawful trade union activities

2. It is regretted to inform that the despite lapse of about one year, the Company has continuously kept suspended many hundred P.T.C.L. Workers since August 2010 who are being paid only 1/3rd of their pay in contravention of the Salary Rules of the Government of Pakistan. Most of these workmen were transferred from the Government of Pakistan T&T Department to Government owned Company i.e. Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited, on the eve of its Privatization with the assurance that their terms and conditions and rights would not be violated. The settlement reached between the union and the Company on the above subject under item No.1 read as below.

“The terms and conditions of the employment shall remain as per the existing provisions of the Pakistan Telecommunication Re-organization Act, 1996 (Sections 35 & 36).”

3. It may be brought to your kind notice that this term of settlement is also incomplete without section No 35 & 36 of Pakistan Telecommunication Re-organization Act 1996 which reads as below:

“35(2) An order issued under sub-section shall specify the employees of the corporation who shall, as from the effective date of the order, be transferred to and become employee of the entity referred in the order;

Provided that such orders shall not vary the terms and conditions of service of such employees to their disadvantage.

36 Terms and conditions of services of employees.—

(1) No person transferred to the company pursuant sub-section (2) or section 35, hereinafter referred to as “Transferred Employee” shall be entitled to any compensation as a consequence of transferred to the Company.

Provided that the Federal Government shall guarantee the existing terms and conditions of service and rights, including pensionary benefits of the Transferred Employees.

(2) Subject to sub-section (3) the terms and conditions of service of any Transferred Employees shall not be altered adversely by the Company except in accordance with the law of Pakistan or with the consent of the Transferred Employees and award of appropriate compensation.

4. Section 15.2 of the Sale Purchase Agreement the Purchaser – ETISALAT INTERNATIONAL PAKISTAN LLC (Company Management) under took to the Seller (Government of Pakistan ) to procure that :

“The Purchaser and the Seller acknowledge and agree that the rights and benefits and terms and conditions of service granted to the “ Transferred Employee” under section 36 of the Pakistan Telecommunication Re-organization Act 1996 will not be prejudice or affected by this Agreement. “

5. The Government of Pakistan raised the Salaries of Civil Servants, Employees of Autonomous/Semi Autonomous Bodies and Corporations which have adopted Government Pay Scales Scheme like PTCL @ 50% of their basic pay on the eve of announcement of Federal Budget 2010-2011 the union placed the demands to raised the salaries of the PTCL workers to maintain legal provisions/commitments. (Copy of O.M. -Annex –A.)

As per provision of the settlement, SPA and the statutory guarantee accorded to them by Government of Pakistan under the provision of law. The management did not accepted their demands. On the contrary, the management approached the National Industrial Relations Commission and then Honourable Lahore High Court to get stopped lawful trade union activities of the workers for redress of their genuine grievances. The Honourable Lahore High Court, Lahore directed the management to hold negotiations with the Union for redressal of the grievances of the workers amicably. The relevant extract of the order dated 18.8.2010 passed by the Honourable Lahore High Court in Writ Petition No.17832/2010 titled PTCL Versus Province of Punjab, etc. is reproduced as under:

“…. the learned counsel for the petitioner, under instructions, submits that petitioner No.1 shall hold further negotiation with respondents No.4 to 6 and any other elected representative of the employees of petitioner No.1 for redressal of their grievance(s)”

The order of the High court is enclosed as Annex-B .

It is regretted to inform that the management instead of holding any negotiation and dialogue with the Union, they dismissed/terminated 313 office bearers of the Trade union & activists and about 500 were suspended/show caused and 19000 workers salaries were stopped. They resorted to get registered false cases against the main office bearers of the Union including (Respondent No.5) Hassan Muhammad Rana, Secretary General of the Union to defeat their struggle.

6. Over & above, the Company has still reinstated only 231 employees. 82 trade union activists and office bearers of the union including Hassan Muhammad Rana, General Secretary has not been reinstated so far on account of pursuing lawful trade union activities. The list of the said terminated/dismissed officials are enclosed as Annex-C.

7. That, the criminal cases under F.I.R. dated August 31st 2010, Nov 3rd 2010 & Nov. 10th 2010 registered against Trade Union Activists & office bearers are pending in the Court of law under Section 353/186 , 149/427 , 506/148 , 3/4 7ATA , 427 , 188/186, 147/149 , 324/353, 13 20/65 P.P.C Amplifier ACT in Margala police Station Islamabad & Police Station Anarkali, Lahore on account of pursuing lawful trade union activities as a result of victimization and going on legal protest to press the just demands of the workers of the Company.

8. That the union has repeatedly requested the Company:-

i) To get reinstate the suspended workers since long and allow them full Pay in accordance with Rules and Settlement

ii) Reinstate the dismissed Trade Union activist and office bearers of the union for pursuing lawful Trade Union activities.

iii) Withdraw criminal cases registered against the Trade Union activists and office bearers of the union for pursuing lawful trade union activities and acceptance of the demand of the union.

9. It is regretted that the P.T.C.L. management has been consistently violating the right of Freedom of Association and has not withdrawing the unfounded criminal cases against the trade union activists registered on the behest of the company in violation of the principle of Freedom of Association.

10. In view of the above circumstances, it is, therefore, requested that the PTCL Management may kindly be directed to redress the situation by:

a) Reinstating all suspended workers and payment of their lawful dues.

b) Reinstate all dismissed Trade Union Representatives and activists on account of pursuing lawful Trade Union activities.

c) Ask the Chief Commissioner Islamabad & PTCL Management to withdraw the criminal cases registered against them for going on lawful protest and based on false charges under FIR No’s 517, 522 , 523 , 524 , 525, 711/10 (detail given in Annex-D).

We shall be highly grateful to you for your early intervention.

Yours sincerely,

(Hassan Muhammad Rana)
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