By Sajjad Shaukat for Veterans Today
While quoting the Press Trust of India, under the caption, “Dissident Pakistanis gather in US to chalk future course of action,” as part of the continued propaganda campaign against Pakistan, BusinessStandard.Com indicated on December 15, 2018 that a two day conference was arranged by Husain Haqqani-Pakistan’s former ambassador to the US and Dr. Muhammad Taqi in the US on December 15, 2018, which culminated on December 18.
The conference was the third to be organized by the notorious anti-Pak forum “South Asians against Terrorism and for Human Rights (SAATH)”. The title of the event was “Pak after the Elections”. The event was reportedly attended and addressed by US Congressman Bard Sherman, who is well known for his anti-Pak rhetoric and also by journalists, bloggers and social media activists who keep writing negatively about Pakistan. Few discussed items were as under:-
Terrorism and international isolation are the real threats to Pakistan, but unfortunately Pakistan’s establishment refuses to recognize that reality.
Liberals and Baloch, Sindhi, Pashtun, Saraiki and Muhajir nationalists see the appointment of Imran Khan as Prime Minister as a virtual military takeover, with a very poor civilians façade.
The Pakistanis press remains in chains.
It is notable that because of the ideal strategic location of its province Balochistan and being the lonely nuclear country in the Islamic World; Pakistan has become special target of the foreign entities like US, India, Israel and some western countries whose secret agencies have been destabilizing it through various kinds of terror attacks, as witnessed in the recent years and during the election-campaign of 2018. These hostile elements are also using propaganda in maligning Pakistan.
In this regard, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has become special target of these foreign entities, as India and America have already opposed this project.
For the purpose of propaganda campaign against Pakistan, these external elements have also hired the services of those Pakistanis who are vulnerable and can work against the national interest of their own country.
According to online sources, on 28-30 October 2016, these hostile persons got together and a conference titled “Future of Pakistan” was organized in London under aegis of SAATH. The moot was termed by segment of social media as “Pakistani Left Gathers in London to Set Things Right”. However, the website of SAATH leaves no stone unturned in spreading disinformation about Pakistan, it security agencies and the government.
In the recent past, SAATH raised forum and the conference which was co-hosted by a US-based activist Dr. Mohammad Taqi and Husain Haqqani was participated by the anti-Pakistan entities.
It is mentionable that on January 13, 2016, Farahnaz Ispahani, the wife of Husain Haqqani was invited by Observer Research Foundation (ORF), RAW affiliated think tank in New Delhi to launch her newly written book titled ‘Purifying the Land of the Pure–Pakistan’s Religious Minorities’.
A good number of Indian foreign analysts, diplomats, retired defence and intelligence officers attended the launch ceremony. Highlighting the plight of minorities in Pakistan, Indian participants mainly focused on Pakistan’s identity and argued that national identity for Pakistan was not Islam, but their being part of Indian civilization was more realistic.
During her presentation, while exaggerating the plight of minorities in Pakistan and targeting the ideology of Pakistan, Farahnaz said that religious minorities are not safe in Pakistan. Following the foreign agenda against Islamabad, Farahnaz Ispahani totally ignored the plight of religious minorities in India.
She did not take cognizance of the facts that since the leader of the ruling party BJP Narendra Modi became Prime Minister of India, various developments like unprecedented rise of Hindu extremism, persecution of minorities, forced conversions of other religious minorities into Hindus, ban on beef and cow slaughter, inclusion of Hindu religious books in curriculum etc.
This clearly show that encouraged by the fundamentalist rulers, Hindu extremist outfits such as BJP, RSS VHP, Bajrang Dal and Shiv Sena including other similar parties have been promoting religious and ethnic chauvinism in India by propagating ideology of Hindutva (Hindu nationalism).
It is noteworthy that Husain Haqqani also leaves no stone unturned in distorting the image of Pakistan and its armed forces, while showing Pakistan a fundamentalist state in order to please his external masters. As regards Husain Haqqani, while serving as Pakistani ambassador, he was protecting American interests. He had issued visas to many CIA agents like Ramond Davis to weaken Pakistan.
Besides, working at various American institutes, Husain Haqqani developed secret liaisons with Indo-Israeli lobbies and became covert element of anti-Pakistan campaign. Particularly, this could be judged from his book, titled, ‘Pakistan: Between Mosque and Military.’
In this book, Husain Haqqani targeted both military and Islamic ideology. While pointing out relationship of the Pak Army and its primary intelligence agency, ISI with the Islamic militants, Haqqani allegedly wrote, “since September 11, 2001, the selective cooperation of Pakistan’s military ruler, General Pervez Musharraf—sharing intelligence with the United States and apprehending Al Qaeda members—have led to the assumption that Pakistan might be ready to give up its long-standing ties with radical Islam.” He advised America, “Washington should no longer condone the Pakistani military’s support for Islamic militants.”
American famous writers and authors exaggeratedly praised the book of Husain Haqqani, as it was in accordance with the hidden agenda and blame game of the US and Indian high officials and their media and which still continue against Islamabad and its security agencies.
Especially, Stephen P. Cohen, author of the book, ‘The Idea of Pakistan and The Pakistan Army’ allegedly wrote, “We are in Husain Haqqani’s debt for providing the authoritative account of the linkages between Pakistan’s powerful Islamists and its professional army.”
While, Husain Haqqani also escaped to America to avoid judicial inquiry of the famous memogate issue, which proved his disloyalty to Pakistan. He was declared absconder by the court.
It is of particular attention that during his briefing to the National Assembly, on January 19, 2016, while confirming anti-Pakistan lobbies in the US, Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Defence Khawaja Asif had revealed, “Pakistan is trying to acquire eight F-16 fighter jets from the US on lease, but Husain Haqqani, the former ambassador to the US was campaigning along with India to implicate Pakistan and to block delivery of F-16 fighter jets.”
Nevertheless, SAATH forum has been able to get maximum attention in Indian press and electronic media which published many articles and blogs to malign Pakistan, its security forces—ISI and criticism of military operation Zarb-e-Azb.
Nonetheless, the timing of holding this forum in the US is interesting, as Pakistani Line of Control (LoC) is under direct assault from the Indian Prime Minister Modi’s terrorists—stepping up in Balochistan and Karachi in wake of determination of Islamabad and Beijing to complete the CPEC project.
In fact, this “so called” forum meant for spreading disinformation about Pakistan, its government and the armed forces. The forum is being sponsored by the anti-state actor Husain Haqqani. Many Pakistani personalities like Dr. Muhammad Taqi etc. are on the list of SAATH forum, which are known for anti-state and anti-army elements and are continuously engaged in activities to defame Pak at international level.
Notably, the US congressmen such as Brad Sherman, Dana Rohrabacher etc. are purposely invited as guest speakers to augment their spiteful designs and to reinforce their narratives that harm Pakistan.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations
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