Dr. Syed Nazir Gilani

Dr. Syed Nazir Gilani hails from the historic village of Naranthal, also known as Jalsharee. The village sits on the banks of the river Jhelum. It is a modest geographical tributary of District Baramulla, Kashmir. Renowned for its Naranthal Temple and the refreshing Jalshree spring, the village shares its boundaries with two other villages Khadaniar (Khadniyar) and Drangbal, also known as Takisultan.

The lineage of the Gilani family traces back to Baghdad, Iraq, journeying through Peshawar in British India and Lahore before settling in Khanyar, Srinagar, Kashmir, where they serve as Gaddi Nashin’s of the shrines of Dastgeer Sahib.

Dr. Gilani’s educational journey traversed through the corridors of Government Middle School Khadniyar, Government Higher Secondary School Baramulla, and Degree College Baramulla. He pursued English Literature & Politics at the University of Kashmir, Law at S M Law College Karachi, Islamic Law at Kings College London, and International Law at Queen Mary University London. Additionally, his academic pursuits extended to Victimology at IUC Dubrovnik, in former Yugoslavia, and Peacekeeping/Humanitarian Operations & Election Monitoring in Pisa, Italy, under the 1996 UN and European Commission Programme. He stands as one of the select 40 individuals chosen under this esteemed program and holds a Ph.D. in the Jurisprudence of UN Resolutions and the Kashmir Case.

His notable engagements include representing Unrepresented Peoples and Nations on the 33-member UN-NGO-Liaison Committee at the UN World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna (1993), where he also served on the UN-NGO Liaison Diplomatic Committee. Dr. Gilani addressed the Plenary and the Main Committee of the Conference, leaving an indelible mark with his insights. Begum Nusrat Bhutto from Pakistan and Atal Bihari Vajpayee from India, also addressed the Plenary and the Main Committee of the Conference on behalf of their respective countries.

Dr. Gilani authored a chapter on Juvenile Justice in Saudi Arabia for a seminal work titled “Delinquency and Juvenile Justice in the Non-Western World,” providing invaluable insights for students, scholars, and practitioners.

Acknowledged by the United Nations since January 1990, Dr. Gilani has lent his expertise to various international platforms, including the UN Commission for Human Rights, UN Sub Commission for Human Rights, UN Human Rights Council, Islamic Summit in Casablanca, and CHOGM-93.

His commitment to promoting and safeguarding human rights transcends borders, evidenced by his diverse professional engagements, including roles at the Ministry of Information Government of Azad Kashmir, Pakistan Red Cross, Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation, and the UNHCR/UKIAS Refugee Section in London. He became the first Muslim Director of Millan Asian Centre in London and was elected on the General Council of UKIAS.

Dr. Gilani’s efforts have earned praise, notably from the President of Pakistan Mr. Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari, who commended his relentless advocacy for the self-determination of the Kashmiri people. His work embodies a steadfast commitment to justice and humanitarian causes, earning him recognition as a distinguished OP-ED writer and a champion of human rights on the global stage. He has remained a strong supporter of a dialogue between India and Pakistan and continues to urge them to respect the UN template on Kashmir.

In October 1996, Major General Alfanso Passolano, the Chief of UNMOGIP, received special clearance from the UN headquarters in New York to fly from Srinagar to Rawalpindi. He held a meeting with a 5-member delegation from JKCHR, headed by Dr. Gilani. This historic meeting lasted for over three hours, and delved deep into the complex dynamics of the Kashmir conflict. It was the first instance of such high-level engagement between UNMOGIP and representatives from either side of the ceasefire line in Kashmir.

Dr. Gilani’s has campaigned for the independence of judges and lawyers in Pakistan and Azad Kashmir during the lawyer’s movement in Pakistan. He has represented Benazir Bhutto, Asif Ali Zardari, Nawaz Shari, Shahbaz Sharif, Yousuf Raza Gilani and many other politicians at the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva.

Dr. Syed Nazir Gilani has been a member of the International Platform of Jurists for East Timor since 1984, making significant contributions to East Timor’s independence. He is also a dedicated advocate for the Palestinian cause and has actively defended the human rights of minorities in Iraq and Kashmir at the United Nations.

Currently, Dr. Gilani serves as the President of the Jammu and Kashmir Council for Human Rights (JKCHR), a non-governmental organization with special consultative status at the United Nations. The UN Secretary-General has received over 60 papers from JKCHR, which have been released as UN General Assembly documents on Kashmir during the UN Human Rights Council sessions in Geneva.

The NGO contends for the UN supervised vote on the future of Kashmir. His dedicated work on the four components of Rights Movement, namely, rights, dignity, security and self-determination of all the people of Jammu and Kashmir, remains a lead and a reliable reference.

The Co-Chairman PPP Asif Ali Zardari nominated Dr. Syed Nazir Gilani on 12 April 2008 as the first person in the list of 12 other people to receive the “Tipperary International Peace Award” conferred posthumously on Shaheed Mohtarama Benazir Bhutto in a ceremony in Tipperary, Ireland on Friday April 25, 2008. He has remained closely associated with three Bhutto’s – Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Nusrat Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto.

Martial Law Government of General Zia ul Haq, booked him under Martial Law Regulations 13 and 53 for his advocacy of Kashmiri language and other published work. MLR 13 prescribed 5 years imprisonment and whipping up to 15 lashes and MLR 53 prescribed a death sentence.

On 3 September 1982 Amnesty International cautioned Government of Pakistan that, “Should he be arrested on this charge, he would certainly be eligible for adoption as a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International.”


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