Promoting religious tolerance: Shehrbano Taseer receives human rights award

Published: October 23, 2011
Shehrbano Taseer daughter of former Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer. PHOTO: FILE

Shehrbano Taseer daughter of former Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer. PHOTO: FILE

Pakistani journalist and daughter of former Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer, Shehrbano Taseer, received a Human Rights Award during an annual award dinner in New York City on Saturday.

In the months since her father’s slaying, Shehrbano has continued to speak out publicly against discriminatory laws that target religious minorities and encourage extremism, said a press release issued by Human Rights First.

Despite criticism and even death threats from militant groups, Shehrbano has worked unremittingly to shed light on the hundreds of victims of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws and to encourage the government to take necessary steps to promote religious tolerance, the press release added.

Human Rights First will honour Shehrbano “for her courage in carrying out her father’s legacy of religious tolerance.” She has published a series of op-ed pieces calling for change in Pakistan, and has openly criticised those who glorify her father’s murderer, said the press release.

She was instrumental in the United Nations Human Rights Council’s groundbreaking resolution in Geneva this March that seeks to address violence, discrimination, and incitement to religious hatred without the controversial notion of “defamation of religions,” the statement said, adding that her courage has led some to characterise the young journalist as “one of the bravest women in today’s Pakistan”.


Published in The Express Tribune, October 23rd, 2011.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (58)

  • Kashif Iqbal
    Oct 23, 2011 - 10:33AM

    Hats off to Taseer family :) May God bless you guys !


  • An EHM
    Oct 23, 2011 - 10:41AM

    and will she be something doing against anti holocaust laws? I mean that is also against the human rights…you can even speak about that?….we know on what basis these awards are given.


  • zia ur rehman
    Oct 23, 2011 - 10:44AM

    what kind of tolerance u are creating when u say on one interview that “no one cares about drones”…


  • Salman
    Oct 23, 2011 - 10:52AM

    This girl is really courageous. I wish we had more people like you here in Pakistan. She has taken a stand that is the need of the time. There are many people with you. Keep going!


  • moeed
    Oct 23, 2011 - 11:15AM

    she did not deserved it her father may have but this selection is very dubious


  • Pragmatist
    Oct 23, 2011 - 11:27AM

    You’re a beautiful human being Shehrbano !


  • Oct 23, 2011 - 11:34AM

    Please send a copy of the award letter to JI,ST,SSP and all the lawyers, judges who consider themselves as Holy Warriors. This is just a small reward of the big sacrifice Salman Taseer gave for us. Prayers and blessings. Congratulations!


  • Malik
    Oct 23, 2011 - 12:13PM

    The cause she has interacted with is bigger than just a award, She should continue with what she is doing, doing an honorable job or may be a scrade task which these Mullahs do not desrve to get to think of even


  • Ernest
    Oct 23, 2011 - 12:13PM

    She and her family is the true pride of Pakistan. She is the living proof that Pakistan is not lost to the fundamentalist invasion.


  • hundal
    Oct 23, 2011 - 12:56PM

    GREAT. May Sheharbano Taseer continue to bring glory and laurels for her father. She is a fearless crusader. Looking forward to see her in political arena.


  • feeka
    Oct 23, 2011 - 12:57PM

    what has she done for this cause? anyone has information on it?


  • Pakistani in US
    Oct 23, 2011 - 12:58PM

    I am SO proud of you. Brave daughter of a brave leader.


  • Oct 23, 2011 - 1:05PM

    we are all proud of you,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,so right brave daughter of a brave leader


  • fia mahmood
    Oct 23, 2011 - 1:18PM

    Her father was a star, such an exemplary man… Miss him all the time


  • Mehek Saeed
    Oct 23, 2011 - 1:26PM

    People like you are a ray of hope in the darkness that surrounds our country in such times! You are a beautiful human being and a brave, strong person. God bless the Taseer family!


  • Shahbano
    Oct 23, 2011 - 1:39PM

    Totally Undeserved!! How can anyone let alone an organization justify bestowing of an award on basis of few articles, having said that what has she physically done to promote religious tolerance?


  • feeka
    Oct 23, 2011 - 1:48PM

    lolz at all saluting comments …can any one help me finding what she has actually done for this promotion of religious tolerance? Recommend

  • bablu
    Oct 23, 2011 - 1:49PM

    Hmm..Human Rights award for someone whose siblings are quarreling with one another over property. Lets fret not. Obama received Nobel Prize.
    Twitter really gets you an award. How cool is that? I am gonna make my account right now.


  • goggi
    Oct 23, 2011 - 1:59PM

    The creation of Pakistan is itself based on entirely religious intolerance. This device of intolerance is the standard mindset of a Pakistani. Recommend

  • Leo
    Oct 23, 2011 - 2:05PM

    Kudos…Shehrbano, you really deserved for all humanity awards for speaking about minorities in Pakistan.


  • shaheen khan
    Oct 23, 2011 - 2:17PM

    a positive contribution by this young woman , shehrbano taseer.despite life threats she z raising her voice 4 a better world. i have always found her optimistic & humble person with a postive attitude.welldone,taseer. fatima bhutto could have used her position/name 4 a lofty purpose but ,unfotunately, she keeps bad-mouthing our politician. it needs guts 2 be in the field, fight 4 a cause & stand ur ground despite life threats.shehrbano. keep it up. u r my inspiration


  • God
    Oct 23, 2011 - 3:01PM

    Proud of you Shehrbano! This is just the beginning though, Taseer family has way to go!

  • R.A
    Oct 23, 2011 - 3:03PM

    I hope she gets another award soon

  • Omer
    Oct 23, 2011 - 3:16PM

    I will vote for Sherbano as PM any day.


  • Parvez
    Oct 23, 2011 - 3:20PM

    This girl is amazing and deserves all the accolades she gets.
    What is confusing is that within the country there is very little exposure and understanding of her work and its impact on society and that is unfortunate.


  • Amadeus
    Oct 23, 2011 - 3:39PM

    Hey I should get an award too – I also promote tolerance everywhere!!! An award – PLEASE


  • Ali
    Oct 23, 2011 - 3:40PM

    What has she done to receive the award? Speak up and that too in spite of all the dangers she faces. That’s more than you spineless cynical twits can ever do. She’s appeared on TV, written articles, attended protests (I saw her at a protest against the murder of Shahbaz Bhatti) and braved threats from militants. She’s got a sound education and a lot of money and could leave Pakistan anytime she wants and live very comfortably in a foreign country, but she’s Salmaan Taseer’s daughter and loves Pakistan. The Taseers, Marvi Sirmed and Sheri Rehman give sane people in Pakistan some hope of a better future for Pakistan.


  • kay
    Oct 23, 2011 - 3:41PM


    crusader?? Please read history so that you know what you are talking about next time you use the word!


  • Roflcopter
    Oct 23, 2011 - 4:05PM

    what a joke


  • Ali S
    Oct 23, 2011 - 4:14PM

    Beautiful inside and out :)


  • nia
    Oct 23, 2011 - 4:54PM

    so glad that finally there’s some good news for taseer =)
    m’A shehrbano has made us ALL proud !
    keep it up girl ..! !
    stay bessd


  • Oct 23, 2011 - 5:38PM

    Why do we hear so many voices and insulting remarks against very mentioning of the words like Communal Harmony, co existence or respect for views of others etc.


  • Jameel
    Oct 23, 2011 - 5:47PM


    what a joke

    I know, except for maulanas’ right to kill anyone, human/religious rights are a joke.


  • A Rahman
    Oct 23, 2011 - 5:48PM



  • Jameel
    Oct 23, 2011 - 6:08PM


    Hey I should get an award too – I also
    promote tolerance everywhere!!! An
    award – PLEASE

    Did someone kill your father for standing up and yet you still carry this work despite you or your family being under continuous threats? If so feel free to come forward.


  • fia mahmood
    Oct 23, 2011 - 7:08PM

    Thank you Jamaeel! poor girl. she is doing something so simple and small but is being terrorirized left right and centre. at great personal risks she continues to speak at think tanks and universities about these laws and what they do to innocent lives. she is setting her fathers record straight – he spoke the truth! long live Salmaan taseer saab


  • Syed Hussein El-Edroos
    Oct 23, 2011 - 10:51PM

    I appreciated Salman Taseer for standing up for minority rights. I congratulate his daughter Shehrbano for following in his footsteps. She has more guts than most of us.


  • Oct 23, 2011 - 11:56PM

    Nobody needs to stand tall and brave amidst death threats, for other people. In this land where religion is used to legitimize heinous crimes.. if someone has the courage to stand up for someone else, that person is truly a hero. But sadly, heros are the ones who KILL – in Pakistan!


  • Paki Christian
    Oct 24, 2011 - 12:41AM

    Dear All comments writers,
    as shehrbano has enlightened the true spirit of Islam and religious tolerance, instead of writing comments here. why dont you stand with her and talk on religious tolerance in every gathering you sit to conveince people what is right and what is wrong.
    i would request you all to please dont leave this family alone and show that Islam is really the religion of peace not killings !


  • csmann
    Oct 24, 2011 - 1:49AM

    if pakistan has any future,it has to be the women WH0 will bring it about.;bravo!!!!!! a warrior of goodness daughter of a fearless warrior.

    someboy above said something about taseer family in courts;why not?they have the right to do so,and they are doing it according to the laws of the country; they dont beleive in inhuman and beastly ” Qadri justice”
    or “mullah justice”


  • Mirza
    Oct 24, 2011 - 9:27AM

    Beti, I have seen your interviews and read a lot and am greatly touched and impressed by your thinking, work and courage. I am so happy for your family and you. Recommend

  • Saif
    Oct 24, 2011 - 12:21PM

    What has she actually done to promote the religious tolerance??? No body knows….
    May I ask where that tolerance goes when thousands of innocent Muslims are killed in drone attacks in Pakistan, Afghanistan and now in Yemen and Somalia too??
    Where this tolerance was when they attacked Iraq and Afghanistan and continue to massacre millions of innocent Muslims there??
    Where this tolerance goes when Israel occupies the Holy Muslim Land & prime worship place like Masjid e Aqsa forcibly and kills, wounds and arrests thousands of innocent Muslims???
    Where was this tolerance when Kashmir a predominantly Muslim land was illegally taken and thousands of innocent Muslims are butchered and Babri Masjid demolished??
    Where this tolerance was when Bosnia and Chechnya were becoming red with the blood of thousands of innocent Muslims and their hundreds of Masjids were destroyed???Recommend

  • rehman
    Oct 24, 2011 - 3:13PM


    ok. where were you when thosuands of innocent ahmedis and shias were being killed in your own pakistan?
    where were you when monsters were slaughtering christians in punjab in name of blasphemy law?
    where were you when an innocent eight grader gets expelled from school??
    where were you when christians wer forced to convert to islam?
    where were you when innocent people oh KP had to leave their own homes when talibani monsters imposed their own thinking?
    where were you when hazaras, balochs are being killed by our great army and their strategic assets?
    where were you when hundreds of ”innocent”, muslim women suffered because of a ”hudood’ ordinance?

    in short, some body said beforeRecommend

  • Oct 24, 2011 - 4:54PM

    WELL DONE!!!! May God bless you!!!!


  • adenali
    Oct 24, 2011 - 6:47PM

    May #Allah bless Taseer family :)


  • Asad
    Oct 24, 2011 - 7:10PM

    When Barack Obama can get the Nobel Peace award, after waging war and killing thousands of innocents in Afghanistan, Northern Pakistan and Iraq then Sherbano can certainly get a human rights award. Its according to the Americans standards where only the Americans are humans and all other humanity (particularly muslims) are worse than animals. In my dictionary Sherbano gets ‘Americans Rights’ award…
    What a shame.


  • abc
    Oct 24, 2011 - 7:28PM

    Yes all capitalist elites who deprive their workers of their salaries for months and gobble up their dues deserve a human rights award. Hats off to the people who gave her this honour!


  • Samir
    Oct 25, 2011 - 11:31AM

    @rehman: BRAVO!!!


  • csmann
    Oct 25, 2011 - 12:33PM

    at least dont criticise the ones who do,even being a woman in a man-dominated societyRecommend

  • Balti
    Oct 26, 2011 - 9:50AM

    No doubt she is a most couragious lady of the history. her father has been assisinated and one brother has kidnaped and she still speaking aginsts the exrrimism.. thump up for this great lady..!!!


  • sigh
    Oct 26, 2011 - 8:53PM

    Props to her! So young, and yet so brave! .While on the other hand,Fatima Bhutto can only crib about how unfortunate her life circumstances have been, or consider herself an expert who can diagnose all the ills of Pakistani society. Shehrbano has wasted no time being cynical, and has really found her voice as a strong advocate for minorities and women in Pakistan.

    It’s so easy to be from a privileged background, and never feel the need to give back to society. And for that, I respect her all the more. Recommend

  • janan
    Oct 27, 2011 - 10:03AM

    That,s all what we need.


  • Spell Check
    Oct 31, 2011 - 3:48AM

    Dog, Check your grammer and spelling. Read what you type before you send it, smart one, lmfao @An EHM:


  • Sacha
    Nov 3, 2011 - 10:50PM

    Shehrbano is an inspiration for the future of Pakistan.


  • Charsadda
    Nov 11, 2011 - 12:20AM

    Why are all you cynics and bitter people talking against a Pakistani who has the courage to speak her mind, without hiding her identity like most of us commenters do? She should get a human rights award for being known for standing against the religious persecution carried out in Pakistan with no authority or repercussions, by ordinary citizens, against fellow citizens. All of you who criticize America’s actions should first look at our own country and see how shamelessly we have stood by and let innocent people be slaughtered in the name of Islam, when in reality they were just cases of settling social or financial disputes. Whether forced by her father’s murder or not, she has come out and stood up against it in public in a country where people have long learned to keep their mouths shut for the fear of physical harm. How many of you jiyalaas have the guts to stand up and say what you are for or against? You are hypocrites who have brought Pakistan to its knees by your duplicity and apathy. You don’t even know what human rights are all about, so just please keep your darn opinions to yourselves like you have kept them for so long and let people like Zardari rule this country because of your silence.


  • Farhad
    Nov 30, 2011 - 8:32PM

    i dun no what “courage” are u talking about. i bet if any of u want a peace price or a human rights award he should start writing against Islam. btw that taseer guy did not do anything for minorities if he actually did something for them than y dunt his daughter show it to the world.
    there are 1000 of laws used against people in pk y dunt she stand agianst them ok i will tell u y she doesnt stand against them because in that way she wont receive human right awards and she wont have the attention of the world and particularly the west.
    i tel u for any one who wants to be successful in eyes of west he should ryte against islam and applaud western culture thats what shz doing. keep up the good work lady.hats off to you


  • Farhad
    Nov 30, 2011 - 8:39PM

    by the way there is no law in Pakistan which is against any religion..the blesehmy law that u moderate islmists cry of is both for non muslims as wel as muslims..
    there are less than 1000 cases of blashemy in last 40 years but if u ever get a chance to meet a jailer he will tell u that 70% of people who r tried r innocnt.why dont u moderate go out for them.????


  • Farhad
    Nov 30, 2011 - 8:44PM

    one thing more i forgot taseer will too be nominated for peace prize. do u noe what he exactly did only passed a statement against blashemy law. and there are millions of philonthropist who spnd their lives on helping people they nvr get this award.


More in Pakistan