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Deplorable Situation in Pakistan
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Deplorable Situation in Pakistan

By : Sarosa Putra

Former Pakistan diplomats, journalists, human rights activists and experts from South Asia. while attending an event organized by 'South Asians against Terrorism and for Human Rights’ in January 2020, raised serious concerns over Pakistan’s military using extremist terror groups as instruments of foreign and domestic policies. The close nexus between militants and military in Pakistan, has put the country in a very deplorable position

The participants were unanimous that the Pakistan military should put an end to the continuous use of extremist militant groups as instruments of foreign and domestic policies. It should stop harbouring the terrorists in the western border of the country, being used as the sanctuary and strategic backyard of Pakistan.
One of the participants and journalist, Rashed Rahman, talked about building social grass root movements in Pakistan, as mainstream political parties had failed to give fruitful results. Those political parties are befooling people and playing with their sentiments.

Pashtun activist, Gulalai Ismail, living in exile in the US and resprenting the younger generation, stated that the people, who had opposite views from the government, were forced to leave the country. He deplored that in the past
decades, the situation had gone only worse.

Pakistani journalist Taha Siddiqui, who is now living in exile in France, also spoke of his traumatic experience in Pakistan with threats, kidnapping attempt and forced exile. He was facing threats from the military for the last several years.
BA delegation of World Sindhi Congress headed by Chairperson, Dr Rubina Shaikh, also participated in the event, presented the case of Sindh and its current challenges that included demographic change, enfoced dissapearances, inhuman treatment with minorities, forced conversion of religion preferential treatment and other burning issues.

During a seminar in Dec, 2018, Progressive Pakistan thinkers had expressed their serious concerns over Pakistan's drift towards authoritarianism, expansion of the military's control over public policy and weakening of civilian institutions Husain Haqqani, the former Ambassador of Pakistan to the US, while addressing the
Conference titled 'Democracy, Human Rights and Ending Terrorism in Pakistan', stated that Pakistan was only a democracy in name, not in reality He raised concerns over growing threats to minority communities and the deteriorating human rights situation in Pakistan, where the elected government had failed to protect civil rights. He added that Sindhis and Balochis were the oppressed
people in Pakistan.

The participants condemned the practice of abductions of journalists and bloggers and threats to Pakistan dissidents and social media activists abroad. Government
machinery (army and police) and terrorists are all committing such acts of terror.

The conference demanded actions against hate groups and extremist organizations like the Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan and Jamaat-ud-Dawa, also known as Lashkar-e-Tabia, ostensibly being mainstreamed by the security establishment. The situation was so bad that even the hardcore terrorists, under the aegis of politicians and patronage of the army/ISI, opted to contest mepolitical elections, to hold political posts any exploit the situation.

Haqqani mentioned that the people of Pakistan were paying a huge price for sheltering these terrorists He recalled the memories of Peshwar attack that is haunting whole Pakistan till present day, in which many students were massacred by the terrorists. He called for a country, where children could safely go to school rather than becoming targets of terrorists, many of those terrorists were cultivated by Pakistan it self.

The conference was attended by the US Congressmen, Brad Sherman, who showed his concern over the forced conyersion of Hindu and Christian girls in Pakistan. He stated that there were the instances of forced conversions of about 1000 young women in Pakistan, who were forcibly converted into Islam and then
married. 70 per cent of them being Hindus. He condemned such repressive activities. Situation is so grim that minorities are running away from Pakistan to other countries for shelter.

Haqqani further stated and recalled the memories that Media in Pakistan was fully controlled by the government in 1971 war. People did not know about the atrocities of Pakistani army on Muslim people in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), who were subject to worst kind of inhumane treatment. People, including old and
children were killed, women were raped, killed and people were forced to take shelter in India. Haqqani mourned that they even did not know about the division of the country into two parts.

US Republican Congressman Thomas Garrett claimed that the leadership in Pakistan was responsible for the human rights violations in the country. While addressing a US- based advocacy group "South Asian Minorities Alliance Foundation", he stated that he was critical of the leadership in Pakistan that denied individuals their rights. The platform was formed to address the "massive human rights violation by security forces and the ruling establishment of Pakistan". The advocacy group received support from two Republican Congressmen Thomas Garrett from Virginia and Scott Perry from Pennsylvania. While Thomas Garrett claimed that the human rights violation in Pakistan was because of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Scott Perry spoke  the against the US funding to Pakistan, which was given for developmental projects, but was extensively used to fund terrorist outfits and other terrorist activities in neighbouring countries and
buying arms for defence forces.

Scott Perry, who has voted in the US House of Representatives against the funding for Pakistan, warned Pakistan that it should not use American money and oppress its people with American money, as it was not good.Thomas Garrett noted that the Pakistan was being controlled by its notorious Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the fact was that its leadership was also working under the ISI. There was a well designed oppression of ethnic minorities existed for a long time in Pakistan.

Chairman of the Voice of Karachi, Nadeem Nusrat, stated that the people in Pakistan were expecting the intervention of the US and the international community to take measures against the atrocities being committed by Pakistani security forces and ISI.

The suppression of minorities, extra judicial killings, violation of human rights, target killings, forcible conversion etc are so high that the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Sindh, have been struggling for their freedom from Pakistani government. The minorities in Pakistan, have shrunk to the great extent. People of Gilgit and Baltistan in Pakistan Administered Kashmir, are already suffering on various issues. They also want freedom.


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