A beacon for justice
The people of Pakistan have endured periods of military rule, political corruption and upheaval, and the constant threat of terrorism, all while surrounded by inimical neighboring countries. Overpopulation, poverty, illiteracy, and inadequate health care plague the nation. Electricity and gas shortages, low levels of enterprise, and high inflation Women are still denied rights. Yet, Anoushe Butt says that they are not a nation of terrorists carrying antipathy toward the West, and that there is also great hope. Today, a smart and industrious young woman might reasonably set a goal of becoming the first female Chief Justice of Pakistan, as has Anoushe. When she was born, her parents chose a name from Persian meaning beacon of light or hope. Anoushe will always try to do justice to her name, and justice is her beacon.
Terrorist attacks do have a profound effect on her and her fellow citizens. A twenty-seven-year-old young man in her neighborhood was near a mosque when a bomb blast killed him. In the tragic attack in 2014, 142 school children in Peshawar were gunned down in a siege by the Taliban. Schools closed and exams were delayed while the country mourned the loss. These disasters deeply disturbed Anoushe, making her more determined to promote the rule of law and security.
Not shy about expressing her opinions, Anoushe says, “the love of debate runs in my blood.” Through the Lahore College of Arts and Sciences, Anoushe offered basic coaching in parliamentary debating for students ranging from grades seven through ten. She won an award for outstanding performance at U19 World’s Format Public Speaking, Impromptu, Parliamentary, Interpretive Reading and Persuasive Speech in 2012.
At Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), she is studying law and political science and feels deep gratitude that she belongs to a privileged minority able to pursue such an advantage—another reason she holds a responsibility to her country to give back. She joined the Parliamentary Debates at LUMS along with the Declamations Society and became an active participant in the Model United Nations Society (MUN) at LUMS where she became an assistant committee director. This led to the broader Pakistan National MUN (PNMUN).
She was soon selected to chair the secretariat of PNMUN in 2014, not realizing that she was being judged at the event. As a result of her performance, she was appointed to the position of President for the 2015 PNMUN. Honored and thrilled, Anoushe hoped to not only meet the high standards of previous presidents, she aimed to raise the bar. One of her main tasks was to put together an outstanding team, and she logged in 120 hours per month until the actual event. “This experience helped me understand myself under a different light,” Anoushe says, “seeing what it is like to have your reputation on the line and being open to criticism, being judged on the basis of what you produce.” She learned so much from this momentous experience among the outstanding young people dedicated to the UN and its hope of solving international crises through peaceful negotiation. She aims to gain enrichment and other leadership experiences to help her participate in another of her dreams, an actual United Nations conference one day. “Being a leader is integral before holding the beacon of justice for my nation,” she says.
Another goal is to work and study internationally so that as a lawyer, she will understand different types of people without bias. Always, at the core of every decision, every dream, and every goal is the undying need to improve life in her country, “to not only love it with all its errors, but to fix it by becoming its brighter future and seeing our own as the same.”
A beacon for justice