Pakistani Liberals Meet for Moot in London because of Threats to Free-thinkers Back Home

Pakistani Liberals Meet for Moot in London because of Threats to Free-thinkers Back Home

October 19, 2017 106

Why would several prominent liberal, progressive and nationalist intellectuals, human rights and social media activists and public figures from Pakistan have to gather in London for a conference to chart out Pakistan’s future, rather than in Islamabad, Karachi or Lahore?

Because in Pakistan, the future of free speech is looking bleaker than ever.

Last weekend, former Pakistani ambassador to Washington, Husain Haqqani, and US-based columnist and doctor, Mohammad Taqi, gathered a large group of free thinkers in London for a conference titled ‘Pakistan: The Way Forward.’

Image result for mohammad taqi husain haqqani

[Video grab: YouTube]

Husain Haqqani (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Like last year, the gathering had to be arranged away from Pakistan because of the threats at home to the security of those who espouse alternative views or question the policies of the all-powerful military or state. No doubt, in Pakistan, the widening circle of repression of critical, dissenting voices to the state’s narrative have led to a shrinking space for liberal, secular, progressive ideas and pluralism. There are constant threats to democracy and to nationalists in Balochistan, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Non-government organisations, human rights defenders and individuals are being victimised. Major political parties are demonstrating an inability to prioritise the protection of human rights and social justice.

Let’s be clear: there is no doubt that Ambassador Haqqani is a divisive figure. Even as Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, he was one of the most eloquent critics of Pakistan’s military, the nuclear-armed country’s most powerful institution. The joke at home was that he was Washington’s ambassador to Pakistan rather than the other way around. And when Haqqani resigned as ambassador in November 2011 and left Pakistan for exile, it was due to his alleged involvement in a scandal surrounding a secret memo that accused the army of plotting a coup and sought help from the United States to rein in the military.

Image result for husain haqqani

[Husain Haqqani exits the Supreme Court after meeting his lawyer Asma Jehangir, in Haqqani’s defence in the secret memo scandal case, in Islamabad on December 22, 2011. PHOTO: AFP/FILE]

But the issue is not whether or not you like Ambassador Haqqani or his views. The issue is that Pakistan has a free speech problem and it’s not going away. The issue is that Pakistan has some real, existential problems that the powerful military and the governmnet don’t want you to talk about.

Pakistan ranks among the bottom 10 countries for supporting free speech, according to data compiled by Pew Research Centre after conducting a survey of 37 states. Hundreds of people are in jail in Pakistan for alleged blasphemy and there have been at least 67 murders over unproven allegations since 1990. In January, several bloggers and activists alleged to have anti-military views disappeared, and although they were returned, the state now seems to have launched an all-out assault, including online, against those it perceives as opposing its views.

(AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)

It is no wonder then that many people invited to the London conference didn’t show up, and those who did, left with a sense of unease at possible harassment by authorities back home. But if you take a look at what the group discussed, there are few of us who would honestly disagree with the issues that were raised:

  • That Pakistan faces the risk of global isolation because of continuing proxy wars in its neighbourhood.
  • That the Pakistani state continues to engage with religious extremists and terrorists, and even wants to mainstream extremist and terrorist organisations while remaining hostile to liberal, progressive and nationalist groupings within Pakistan.
  • That political parties representing the ethnic Baloch, Mohajir, Sindhi and Pashtun segments of Pakistan’s population have been targeted by both state repression and hostile propaganda aimed at delegitimising them even when they have won clear electoral mandates from the people.
  • That the state pursues repressive policies towards the population-wise smaller provinces and nationalities and their elected representatives.

 

Honestly, are these really completely crazy ideas that a bunch of Pakistanis had to go to London to be able to openly discuss? Isn’t there enough evidence to support that all this is actually happening? How many of you out there disagree that these are real issues? How many don’t think it’s time for Pakistan’s rich and powerful ruling elite to own up and take responsibility for the failed policies of the past instead of promoting conspiracy theories through manipulation of the mainstream mass media and increasing repression of the social media? Who among us doesn’t want a pluralist and tolerant, liberal, secular and progressive Pakistan that abides by internationally recognized human rights, allows full and free debate, treats all its people and nationalities fairly and is no longer seen around the world as an incubator for terrorism? Who doesn’t want a Pakistan at peace with itself and its neighbours and which is fully respectful of human rights of all, including religious minorities?

So ask yourself this: is it not time for Pakistan’s rich and powerful ruling elite to own up and take responsibility for the failed policies of the past instead of promoting conspiracy theories through manipulation of the mainstream mass media and increasing repression of the social media? Who among you doesn’t want a pluralist and tolerant, liberal, secular and progressive Pakistan that abides by internationally recognized human rights, allows full and free debate, treats all its people and nationalities fairly and is no longer seen around the world as an incubator for terrorism? Who doesn’t want a Pakistan at peace with itself and its neighbours and which is fully respectful of human rights of all, including religious minorities?

Anti-blasphemy law protest in Pakistan (Credits: Reuters)

Questioning state policies is a legitimate right of all Pakistanis. We must all stand together to oppose the tendency to label dissident voices as traitors or ‘kafirs’ (non-believers) in an effort to shut down debate and discussion of alternative policies. Don’t let anyone tell you that dissent is not patriotic. And Ambassador Haqqani and Dr Taqi, let’s hope you can take your conference to Pakistan next year.

Saniya Rashid
SaniyaRashid
106 comments on “Pakistani Liberals Meet for Moot in London because of Threats to Free-thinkers Back Home
  1. Robertmeern

    how to get diflucan online diflucan 150 mg price in india

    July 31, 2020 Reply
  2. Yeezy Boost 350 V2

    http://www.yeezyboost350.us.com/ Yeezy Boost 350 V2

    August 1, 2020 Reply
  3. Robertmeern

    how to get wellbutrin prescription generic wellbutrin online no rx

    August 1, 2020 Reply
  4. Swat Mosquito Systems

    I love it when individuals get together and share thoughts. Great blog, continue the good work!

    August 1, 2020 Reply
  5. cialis prices

    In silicon, it should suffer with also not recommended me that medical. best online casino for money online casino games for real money

    August 1, 2020 Reply
  6. Facebook ad template

    Very good blog post. I certainly love this website. Keep it up!

    August 1, 2020 Reply
  7. Robertmeern

    generic propecia cheap buy propecia 5mg

    August 2, 2020 Reply
  8. generic cialis canada

    Close to canada online apothecary into a summary where she ought to shoot up herself, up span circulation-to-face with the connected and renal replacement remedy himselfРІ GOP Grasp Dan Crenshaw Crystalloids Cradle РІSNLРІ Modifiers Him In requital for Particular Eye In Midwest. casino slot slots online

    August 2, 2020 Reply
  9. Football England

    May I simply just say what a relief to uncover someone that genuinely understands what they are talking about over the internet. You certainly know how to bring a problem to light and make it important. More people really need to check this out and understand this side of the story. It’s surprising you are not more popular since you definitely possess the gift.

    August 3, 2020 Reply
  10. Keder Band

    A motivating discussion is definitely worth comment. I do think that you should write more on this topic, it might not be a taboo matter but usually people don’t talk about these topics. To the next! Best wishes!!

    August 4, 2020 Reply
  11. Roller Up

    There’s definately a lot to know about this topic. I really like all of the points you have made.

    August 5, 2020 Reply
  12. NBA Jerseys

    http://www.uggs-officialsite.org/ Uggs Official Site

    August 5, 2020 Reply
  13. viagra sildenafil

    To tresses decontamination between my life up in the lid on the urinary side blocking my lung, and in the in days of yore I was euphemistic pre-owned in red them before transfusion replacement them whirl unrecognized and cardiac the exception of as chest. generic viagra cost generic viagra reviews

    August 5, 2020 Reply
  14. Michaelfoeni

    hemp oil cbd: cbd anxiety cbd for dogs
    cbdoilforsalecoupon.com nutrax cbd oil

    August 5, 2020 Reply
  15. GregoryElava

    cbd oil for pain: cbd oil capsules

    August 5, 2020 Reply
  16. BrianPuple

    have a peek at these guys click sneak a peek here

    August 5, 2020 Reply
  17. Michaelfoeni

    cbd oil amazon: cbd oil legal in all 50 states how much cbd oil should i take
    cbdoilforsalecoupon.com difference between cbd oil and hemp oil

    August 6, 2020 Reply
  18. Yeezy

    http://www.supplyyeezy.us.com/ Yeezy Supply

    August 6, 2020 Reply
  19. sildenafil 100

    Use slow vascular extinction after you set the healthcare practitionerРІs hypertension to declare healthy patients. purchase viagra online pharmacy viagra

    August 7, 2020 Reply
  20. vardenafil

    Antimicrobial utilize reduced and contagious agents such as hypertension, tachycardia, hypertension, diagnostic or peaked vertical being treated in african to a person or more careful criticism a. sildenafil 100mg buy generic viagra

    August 7, 2020 Reply
  21. Nike Outlet Store

    http://www.yeezyboost350.us.com/ Yeezy Boost 350 V2

    August 7, 2020 Reply
  22. Scwelding Academy

    Having read this I believed it was very enlightening. I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this information together. I once again find myself personally spending way too much time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worth it!

    August 8, 2020 Reply
  23. Brandonplaks

    cbd oil for anxiety and depression: cbd oil for sale – cbd oil for sale
    cbdoilforsalerate.com/ cbd oil vs hemp oil

    August 8, 2020 Reply
  24. levitra usa

    [editor] The ED requirements anesthesiology doses that this minority is also called on a. viagra sildenafil sildenafil 100mg

    August 9, 2020 Reply
  25. RobertFut

    cbd oil price at walmart: cbd oil

    August 9, 2020 Reply
  26. Kevinrussy

    cbd oil for dogs with arthritis: cbd oil for sale locally

    August 11, 2020 Reply
  27. online casino real money usa

    Rely still the us that cease up Trimix Hips are in many cases not associated in favour of refractory other causes, when combined together, mexican druggist’s online have one’s heart set on a exceptionally unstable that is treated as a replacement for the paragon generic viagra online Adverse Cardiac. fluoxetine prozac Unbzxt pflseo

    August 11, 2020 Reply
  28. CharlesRedge

    home remedies for erectile dysfunction buy generic ed pills online best ed drugs
    drug medication https://canadaedwp.com/ buy generic ed pills online
    top rated ed pills buy ed pills online ed pills otc

    November 14, 2020 Reply
  29. ivermectin coronavirus

    stromectol ivermectin stromectol prices

    September 15, 2021 Reply
  30. stromectol buy uk

    ivermectin 3mg tablets price where to buy ivermectin

    September 18, 2021 Reply
  31. ovamit price

    clomid prescription online storb Acath

    September 25, 2021 Reply
  32. https://ivermectinstromectolhp.com/

    stromectol in canada durvet ivermectin

    September 26, 2021 Reply
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

3movs india-porn.mobi indianmomsex juicy ads doodhwali.net hot vedios com nayanthara xvideo redwap2.com indian honeymoon couple sex amisha patel hot scene indiansexxxtube.mobi tamil masala sex videos kurla satta kurla pornowap.mobi desixvido awesome sexy video fransizporno.com wife sex indain sxe indiansexclips.info xxwwwcom wwwreshma desitube.info megaindianporn sex video hindu potnhub.info desi xxxvideo kavithasex wildindianporn.mobi hot mallu mms nayan thara sex videos redwap.me karishma kapoor nude pics esther anil xxxvideohd.info breastfeeding wife milk by husband assalamu alaikum sobazo.com motherboard hqtube.com noodporn.com sex blue film hindi to love ru henti hentai.name pokemon lana hentai