Public Interest Law Association of Pakistan (PILAP)
Public Interest Law Association of Pakistan(PILAP) was formed by a group of concerned citizens with the primary objective of enabling Pakistanis to attain the realisation of their civil, human, economic, social and political rights. It is an independent, non-political and not-for-profit legal organisation that is dedicated to protecting and defending human rights through judicial means, across Pakistan. It was founded in 2011 as an association.
The key objectives of PILAP are:
- to speed up the pace of social and economic reforms.
- to seek access to justice for the underprivileged.
- to ensure that the state provides its citizens with basic fundamental rights, such as clean drinking water and air, basic education, health care, and infrastructure (roads and sewerage etc.) facilities.
- to improve government accountability and transparency.
- to work towards protection and sustenance of democratic governance and the Rule of Law.
- to promote, support, undertake and pursue public interest litigation in Pakistan
- to educate civil society and the masses of their rights and the role that society should play in protecting these rights.
- to educate and lobby with the establishment including the executive and the legislature to improve legislations to provide justice, fair opportunities and basic fundamental rights to the masses.
- to decide on public interest litigation by identifying issues, locating suitable petitioners, collecting reliable data and conducting solid research, identifying relevant local laws, researching international precedents, identifying the appropriate forum, and assessing the cost of filing.
- to provide effective judicial protection to weaker sections of society.
- to persuade the Government to ensure inexpensive and expeditious justice to the masses, as required under Article 37(d) of the Constitution.
- to advance fundamental rights such as freedom of association and speech including right to access to information and records of government organisations.
- to protect the human, public and fundamental rights of citizens.
- to ensure that the state levies taxes on all who have the capacity to pay in a just, fair and equitable manner.
- to ensure that the state uses tax payers’ money in the best interests of the masses.
- to follow-up and monitor to ensure that the judgments of the Court in PIL cases are properly executed at all levels.
The rights of vulnerable sections of society can only be protected if they can access the judicial system that is there to serve them. PILAP seeks to make the system of justice more effective and accessible by adopting a multi-pronged strategy that begins with engaging the community through advocacy, creating awareness on public interest issues and eventually resorting to litigation.
Through its advocacy programme PILAP seeks to create an active discourse about the rights of the underrepresented section of society in order to accelerate the process of positive change. We connect with the community on public interest issues through mass media, social media, by hosting seminars, publishing newsletters and reports.
PILAP engages in litigation as a last resort, using the law to enforce human rights and to hold state and non-state actors accountable for abuses. For this, PILAP banks on its own resource of full time and volunteer lawyers. We also have a National Executive Committee and in due course will also institute executive committees in all the major cities and regions of Pakistan. The Committees will oversee the offices and management of PILAP in the respective cities and regions.
- Mr. Khayam Hussain (Chairman)
- Mr. Murtaza Ahmed Ali (Vice Chairman)
- Mr. Mazhar Valjee
- Mr. Ashraf Ali Sayeed
- Mr. Jameel Yousuf (S. St.)
- Mr. Mehmood Elahi Faruqi
- Mrs. Shomaila L. Maker
- Mr. Pervez Said (Chief Executive Officer)
- Mr. Zahoor Iqbal