Targeting Pakistan on Human Rights Violations in Sri Lanka
By Sajjad Shaukat
The civilized Western World has always shown double standard of human rights in the modern era of open diplomacy, economic development and maintenance of fundamental rights of various peoples. But, it is regrettable that major powers like the US and some European countries have continuously been acting upon duplicity regarding human rights violations. In this regard, their silence over the massacre of the Rohingya Muslim community at the hands of the Rakhine extremist Buddhists in Burma (present Myanmar), perpetual bloodshed of Kashmiris in the Indian occupied Kashmir and unending genocide of several Palestinians in Gaza might be cited as example. In these cases, US-led Western World which was overtly or covertly supporting the state terrorism of Myanmar’s military junta, Indian and Israeli regimes was strongly condemned by the Islamic Word’s intellectuals. In wake of Muslim tragedy, it was also exposed that world’s apex body, the UNO has also been following double standard of human rights, and has become instrument of America and its allies at the cost of the Muslim World.
Especially, the US has been protecting its selfish interests including those of India and Israel by using the UNO against the Islamic countries like Iran, and Pakistan because the latter is also the lonely nuclear country in the Islamic World. Hence, they want to destabilize Pakistan by supporting the militants’ outfits which continues subversive attacks in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Karachi and other parts of the country.
Besides, foreign-backed NGOs and human rights groups leave no stone unturned in distorting the image of Pakistan in relation to human rights violations. In this context, while speaking in the tone of external elements—since the supreme court has been taking notice of various cases, without grasping realities, Pakistan’s internal entities have manipulated every issue and case like the Memogate case, missing persons of Balochistan, law and order situation in Karachi, military operation in North Waziristan, incident of Malala Yousafzai etc., to tarnish country’s image.
Let us take the example of the missing persons. Everyone knows that majority of the disappeared persons have been killed in bomb blasts, target killings, ethnic and sectarian violence in various places of Pakistan, arranged by the foreign-assisted militant outfits, particularly TTP. In case of Balochistan, Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and other similar insurgent groups which have been fighting for secession of the province gets logistic support from anti-Pakistan secret agencies. These terrorists abducted and killed many innocent people and the security personnel in the province, while claiming responsibility. And since 2001, a majority of Pakistanis also left for Afghanistan for Jehad purposes, while many people joined the Jahadi groups in Pakistan.
As regards Pakistan’s internal entities, some persons are on the parole of foreign secret agencies, while some have pro-American or western tilt, as they want to get international fame by distorting the image of Pakistan. In other worlds, they malign their own county by fulfilling the nefarious agenda of anti-Pakistan countries intentionally or unintentionally.
In this connection, in one way or the other, Asma Jahangir, the famous human rights activist has always indicated her old stereotype-prejudices against Pakistan and its security forces by following the blame game of US-led India and some western countries in relation to any major issue or case of human rights abuses. For the purpose, she had also manipulated the cases of missing persons, especially those of Balochistan. In fact, Asma can create some hostile justification for the sake of hostility by maligning Pak Army, superior intelligence agency, ISI because in this way, she can not only get good media coverage in abroad , but can also please her external masters.
Recent nomination of Asma Jahangir as an expert to investigate human rights violations/abuses committed by the government forces in Sri Lanka during the last phase of war against Liberation of Tamil Elam (LTTE) may cause psychological embarrassment and emotional exasperation for Pakistan, as Sri Lanka is a friendly country. Asma is known for her arrogance, self importance and bluntness as a lawyer, human rights activist and high profile international investigator. She is the former President of Pakistan Bar Council and has especially been selected by UN along with two other eminent international experts. Her nomination is quite controversial in Sri Lanka, as very few Sri Lankan politicians who wanted UN to interfere in Sri Lanka’s internal affairs to topple the sitting government of the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), supported her case. Sri Lankan political leaders believe that this is the only way in toppling the government and a way forward to regime change.
In her recent interview with BBC, published by Sri Lankan print media, while warning the Sri Lankan government of dire consequences, Asma Jahangir arrogantly asserted, if they tried to stop people from contacting the UN investigating team—any attempt to prevent people from testifying would be detrimental for the Sri Lankan Govt.
No doubt, such aggressive statements by a Pakistani national certainly lead to creation of diplomatic irritants between the two governments. Asma’s forewarning was not very well taken by Sri Lankans, as most of them perceive that a Pakistani national in UN investigation team will only come for their rescue.
People of Sri Lanka and the government have made up their mind not to let any such investigation team enter their country at any stage. Sri Lanka, being a friendly state does not—will not expect a Pakistani national to oppose their rulers on an issue which has already been supported by Islamabad during UN Human Rights Commission’s related resolution. Furthermore, India has recently supported Colombo’s stance and has opposed any international investigation within Sri Lanka.
It is notable that as regards Human Rights Commission of Pakistan led by Asma Jehangir, in 2006, I had myself visited its head office, located in Lahore. I met some writers of a particular newspaper, who had been working there. I came to know that its members were being sent to various villages of Pakistan so as to note various crimes which were also published in magazines and afterwards these were sent to western countries, especially America with the sole aim to show the progress of this Commission which is financially supported by the US. No doubt, we must condemn these crimes in our society, but if we point out these anti-social activities to please our foreign masters, and in order to tarnish the image of our own country including its forces, such a practice itself becomes a greater crime.
I ask the former HRCP’s Chairperson Asma Jehangir as to why multiple crimes, committed inside the United States are not being indicated by this Commission with detail. From time to time, a number of students have been shot in various American universities, but I did not read any statement of Asma Jehangir in that respect. And why there is no detailed statement against American forces, CIA and FBI which have so far tortured and killed a number of innocent Muslims entailing Pakistanis at various detention centers under the pretext of war against terrorism. She never spoke about atrocities, perpetrated by the American troops in Abu Ghraib, other CIA torture-cells, and human rights violations inside the US homeland where since 9/11; thousands of Muslims were targeted, labeling them as suspected persons.
The fact of the matter is that Asma Jehangir is waiting for Nobel Prize which is mostly awarded to the western people and rarely to the Muslims. In this context, Asma is also making strenuous efforts by getting this award by showing to the US-led western countries that she is serving as human rights activists at the cost of Pakistan. One cannot note difference between her hypocrisy and the US-led Hindu-Jewish lobbies which are determined to disintegrate Pakistan. Nonetheless, all this shows the real face of Asma Jehangir.
However, a Pakistani national, being part of the UN investigation team, pitched against a friendly country should be a matter of concern for every patriot Pakistani. Therefore, Pakistani government should either get her name withdrawn from the investigation team or clarify (on an international forum) that anything reported/presented or displayed by Asma Jahangir will be an individual act, and will not reflect the policy of Islamabad. In this regard, media must impress upon the policy makers to address the issue, because it will have serious consequences for Pakistan–Sri Lanka relations at every level. The matter should be addressed as soon as possible since the inquiry is already in process and the investigation team is to present and submit its first report to UN in September 2014.
Particularly, Pakistan’s media must project that Asma Jahangir is blunt, arrogantly confident, self projecting and outspoken individual, having qualification and experience in practicing law. Her rebuking statement against the Sri Lankan government through BBC interview indicates the extent of her being self-centeredness and idiosyncratic character. Islamabad holds Sri Lanka in high esteem as a trust worthy friend under all seasons.
Government and people of Pakistan get deeply hurt every time, they recall the deplorable episode of terrorist attack against Sri Lankan Cricket Team in Lahore. Such a devilish attack was planned by anti-Pakistan elements to damage cricket in Pakistan and to create conditions to spoil diplomatic relations between Islamabad and Colombo. Fortunately, relations between the two friendly countries are still flourishing, while cricket is also being played between their national teams. Terrorists and master minds of attack against Sri Lankan Cricket Team have surely been frustrated and perturbed.
Nevertheless, any attempt by Asma Jehangir to target Pakistan on human rights violations in Sri Lanka through so-called UN investigation must be thwarted by Pakistan’s top officials and media.