Online Edition

SAATH’s designs against Pakistan


Mohammad Jamil

South Asians Against Terrorism and Human Rights (SAATH) has started working on the new theme for the third annual conference to be held in October 2018. Anti-Pakistan elements from the US and the West continue their onslaught, and since Pakistan’s embassies have not been able to outreach to the Congressmen and intelligentsia in those countries to counter their obnoxious propaganda, detractors of Pakistan have a field day. The second annual conference South Asians Against Terrorism and Human Rights (SAATH) was held in London on 13-14 Oct 2017, which was co-hosted by former US ambassador Hussain Haqqani and US-based columnist Dr. Muhammad Taqi. The conference was titled “Pakistan – The Way Forward”. The discussion focused on how the pluralist and secular narrative in Pakistan be strengthened, because, what they call, they are under the direct threat of the Islamists and Pakistani establishment.
Their agenda was planning against the CPEC/Pak-China’s interests in the region. Hussain Haqqani, Brahumdagh Bugti, Mehran Marri, Ahmar Masti Khan, Hammal Haider and others attended the conference and delivered RAW-sponsored speeches. The SAATH conference is a move with malicious intent, as it provides a platform to proliferate anti-Pakistan views. The plan to setup two secretariats, one in Islamabad and the other abroad, raises serious concerns and needs immediate attention; and under no circumstances they should be allowed to establish offices in Pakistan. SAATH is a forum which helps promote obnoxious designs of the foreign entities like US, India, Israel and the West along with other multiple platforms. Pakistani national narrative is under multidirectional attack and we are being outnumbered and outsmarted due to quantitative edge enjoyed by Indian apologist liberals and their surrogates and supporters in Pakistani media.
The narrative that is emerging with time is that Pakistan is supporting mainstream extremist and terrorist organizations. This seems to be part of the SAATH propaganda campaign aimed at maligning Pakistan by linking it with the terrorist support. Despite having a named tag, SAATH conference of 2016 and 2017 remained totally mute on HR violations in Kashmir and Hindu extremism in India, genocide in Myanmar and hangings in Bangladesh etc., which is reflective of the malicious intent of this forum. The name of the forum has been cleverly selected as if it is a platform against terrorism and violation of human rights in South Asia. Unfortunately, some Pakistanis are impressed by the so-called liberal democrats, and wittingly or unwittingly start criticizing Pakistan’s institutions. They in fact take a particular pride in an uninhibited expression, holding it up boastfully as a manifest of their independent mind.
In this pursuit, they in their first pretentious device pick up military and intelligence agencies for vituperative and onslaught, considering them as a fair game for expression of their unbounded freedom. And lately, they are resorting scathing criticism of the higher judiciary. In fact, freedom of expression is one of the most abused freedoms in Pakistan. Article 19 of the Constitution reads: “Every citizen shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression, and there shall be freedom of the press, subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law…” It has to be mentioned that freedom of expression is not absolute and can be limited when it conflicts with other rights. International law declares freedom of expression to be the rule; and limitations are the exception, permitted only to protect the rights or reputations of others, national security and public order.