Ansar Burney Launches Autobiography “Awaaz”

Ansar Burney

‘Awaaz: Echoes of Freedom and Justice’ is Ansar Burney’s memoir chronicling his transformation from a student leader to a champion of human rights. Authored by Burney, co-written/edited by Shehar Bano Rizvi and Tasneem Premjee Chamdia, Awaaz memorializes Burney’s lifelong global struggle for human rights, and underscoring our transcendant common humanity.

While jailed in 1977 Burney witnessed harrowing conditions of Pakistani prisons. This led to his advocating for prisoners. In 1980, he establishes the Ansar Burney Trust which confronted exploitation despite threats to his life. As a lawyer, Burney worked within legal framework to address issues while cooperating with authorities. He worked with with leaders such as Muhammad Khan Junejo, Zia-ul-Haq, Mirza Aslam Beg, Pervez Musharraf, and others leading to many prisoners release in Pakistan. Burney has won over 250 awards throughout his journey, including Outstanding Young Person of the World Award, Mother Teresa Memorial Award, Sitara-e-Imtiaz, and Hilal-e-Imtiaz.

“After spending a lifetime in the service of humanity and raising my voice for human rights, I have learned that everything that I have done has been because of God’s will. I have served God by serving humanity, His creation. Often, I did not have the means to help a prisoner, or someone stuck in illegal captivity, but always at the 11th hour, someone would come forward to help and join hands for the cause,” said Burney, Chairman of Ansar Burney Trust. “This book also has happened in a similar way. I can’t explain how Shehar Bano, and her friend Tasneem came together to write this book with me. I just want to thank them for their relentless effort in helping me share my story.”

The memoir recounts his monumental 17-year struggle against the use of child camel jockeys in the Middle East, and reflects on personal challenges, relationships, and encounters with renowned humanitarians. Burney helps in bridging divides as Pakistan’s first Minister of Human Rights and a UN Expert Advisor on Human Rights. His storytelling captivates readers, as he shares both successes and vulnerabilities, and offers valuable insights for anyone in the humanitarian field, or on a journey of personal growth.

“It was my distinct honor to co-author Awaaz with Burney Sahib. It was very challenging to capture such a diverse array of stories and struggles for human rights. Each story is captivating, moving, and incredible. The book will undoubtedly inspire readers,” said award-winning co-author Shehar Bano Rizvi.

Tasneem Premjee Chamdia, co-author, said at the launch: “Awaaz is an excellent resource not only for social and humanitarian workers but also anyone pursuing personal growth. The world needs great souls like Burney Sahib to exemplify what a driven individual is capable of and that we all belong to the tribe of humanity above all others.”

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About Ansar Burney:

Ansar Burney, a Pakistani lawyer and activist, is known for pioneering human rights in Pakistan during the 1980s. His remarkable journey includes liberating nearly a million individuals from unlawful confinement and tirelessly advocating for victims of human trafficking, bonded labor, and various forms of exploitation worldwide. He served as Pakistan’s Minister of Human Rights for the caretaker government under President Pervez Musharraf, to oversee the General Elections of 2008. Right after his term, he was elected unopposed as an Expert Advisor on Human Rights at the United Nations in Geneva. Burney’s unwavering commitment has earned him over 250 awards, including Anti-Human Trafficking Hero by the US State Department, Outstanding Young Person of the World Award, Paul Harris Fellow Award, Mother Teresa Memorial Award, Sitara-e-Imtiaz, and Hilal-e-Imtiaz.

About the Co-authors:

Shehar Bano Rizvi is the author of the Amazon bestseller Virsa – A Culinary Journey from Agra to Karachi, which won the Best in the World Gourmand Award in Paris. Rizvi is a writer and photographer and contributes guest articles in leading newspapers and magazines. Tasneem Premjee Chamdia, a first-time writer, is a qualified Special Needs Educator who has spent years teaching children with learning disabilities in London and Pakistan. She has also worked as a teacher trainer for Government schools in some of Karachi’s poorest neighborhoods.


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