SAATH FORUM

South Asians Against Terrorism & For Human Rights

Category: Events (page 2 of 2)

Way forward for Pakistan sans war discussed in London

Geo TV

October, 13, 2017

Dozens of prominent Pakistani figures “who reject the idea of permanent war with neighbouring countries” and do not accept what liberal Pakistanis consider an extremist orientation came together for the conference titled ‘Pakistan- the way forward’.

The conference was the second such organised under the banner of South Asians Against Terrorism and for Human Rights (SAATH). It was hosted by columnist Dr Mohammad Taqi and former ambassador of Pakistan to the United States, Husain Haqqani.

“Liberal, progressive, nationalist and secular visions of the country need to be reinstated in Pakistan’s political arena if the country is to overcome the current local and international threats,” Haqqani, one of the hosts, told Geo News. “We must change the narrative that only religious extremists or intolerant bigots represent Pakistani patriotism. Pakistan belongs to various schools of thought, various ideologies and diverse opinions that’s its real beauty.”

He maintained Pakistan faced critical challenges and needed a 360-degree change in policies — rather than gimmicks — and an alternative suggesting the way forward.

Besides Haqqani and Taqi prominent participants included Rashed Rehman, Abbas Nasir, Senator Latif Afridi, Arif Jamal, Marvi Sirmed, Beena Sarwar, Atif Tauqeer, Farhat Taj and several leading journalists.

Last year, the conference was marred by opinions of hard-line nationalists and supporters of Muttahida Qaumi Movement-London’s leader Altaf Hussain. However, this time, the agenda and list of participants was more mainstream, organisers said.

They added that the conference was themed with the purpose of creating a network of Pakistanis in the country and abroad who reject the idea of permanent war with neighbouring countries.

While sharing their opinions, some experts said the conference should also explore and highlight issues of human rights and extremism in other parts of South Asia as the forum’s primary focus is the entire South Asian region.

Call for Reviving Liberal Pakistan at London Conference

The Nation

Salman Masood,

October 13 2017

More than one hundred prominent Pakistani intellectuals, human rights and social media activists, and public figures with anti-establishment views have arrived in London,  calling for the revival of ‘Quaid-e-Azam’s liberal vision for Pakistan or risk international isolation.’

The conference titled ‘Pakistan- the war forward’ is being organized under the banner of South Asians Against Terrorism and for Human Rights (SAATH).

It is the second such meeting co-hosted by US-based columnist Dr Mohammad Taqi and former Pakistan ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, who has become a major international critic of Pakistan’s state policies, especially on terrorism.

Besides Haqqani and Taqi prominent participants include the conference include Rashed Rehman, Abbas Nasir, Senator Latif Afridi, Arif Jamal, Marvi Sirmed, Beena Sarwar, Farhat Taj, and Atif Tauqeer

Unlike last year, when the conference was dominated by opinions of hard-line Sindhi and Baloch nationalists and MQM-Altaf supporters, this year the agenda and list of participants is more mainstream.

The conference theme is to create a network of Pakistanis in the country and abroad “who reject the idea of permanent war with neighboring countries” and do not accept what liberal Pakistanis consider an extremist orientation.

“Liberal, progressive, nationalist and secular visions of Pakistan need to be reinstated in Pakistan’s political arena if the country is to overcome threats of international isolation,” Haqqani said, while opening the conference. “We must change the narrative that only religious extremists or intolerant bigots represent Pakistani patriotism.”

As delegates registered for the meeting, they recalled several prominent liberal Pakistanis who have been physically eliminated or disappeared. “That is why we are meeting London,” one organizer said.

There was also criticism of the new policy of mainstreaming militant groups such as Jamaat-ud-Dawa/Lashkar-e-Taiba , which has been transformed into Milli Muslim League.

According to co-organizer Dr Taqi, “We want to focus on how tolerance can be mainstreamed in Pakistan at a time when Jihadis and those designated international terrorists are being mainstreamed.”

Dr Taqi also expressed concern that even the “facade of democracy in Pakistan” was being eroded and “invisible hands are expanding their role.”

The three-day conference will continue on Saturday and Sunday.

Pakistan: The Way Forward 2017 Conference

More than one hundred prominent Pakistani intellectuals, human rights and social media activists, and public figures with anti-establishment views met  in London,  calling for the revival of ‘Quaid-e-Azam’s liberal vision for Pakistan or risk international isolation.’ The conference titled ‘Pakistan- the war forward’ was organized under the banner of South Asians Against Terrorism and for Human Rights (SAATH).

It was the second such meeting co-hosted by US-based columnist Dr Mohammad Taqi and former Pakistan ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, who has become a major international critic of Pakistan’s state policies, especially on terrorism. Besides Haqqani and Taqi prominent participants include the conference include Rashed Rehman, Abbas Nasir, Senator Latif Afridi, Arif Jamal, Marvi Sirmed, Beena Sarwar, Farhat Taj, and Atif Tauqeer.

 

The Future of Pakistan Conference 2016 London

On October 28-30, 2016, Pakistanis from around the world gathered in London for the Future of Pakistan Conference hosted by SAATH Forum.

The discussions at this deliberative conference focused on how the pluralist and secular narrative in Pakistan can be strengthened. Can individuals currently spread over many political parties, NGOs and media houses agree to collaborate for greater goals setting aside individual interests and differences? How can we ensure greater support for pluralist ideas in Pakistan given the array of forces opposed to it? Is there a scope for such politics and how can it be mainstreamed especially in Pakistan’s youth? These and many other questions were the topics of the day, and helped shape the Declaration of the attendees, as read by Rashed Rahman.

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