SAATH Forum, London October 2017: ‘Pakistan: The Way Forward’
October 2017, London
Ms. Yoana Barakova (Research Analyst EFSAS) represented the European Foundation for South Asian Studies (EFSAS) during an international conference on South Asia in general and Pakistan in particular, held in London. Several prominent liberal, progressive and nationalist intellectuals, human rights and social media activists and public figures from Pakistan and other countries around the world gathered in London for the conference, ‘Pakistan: The Way Forward’, organised under the banner of South Asians Against Terrorism and for Human Rights (SAATH), co-hosted by US-based columnist Dr. Mohammad Taqi and former Pakistan Ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani.
Ms. Yoana Barakova, Research Analyst at EFSAS, with Mr. Husain Haqqani, former Pakistan Ambassador to the United States, during the SAATH Conference in London.
The participants stood up against the silencing of liberal, secular, progressive ideas and pluralism in Pakistan, the ongoing human rights violations and the constant threat to democracy. The presence of extremist and terrorist organizations, which remains an issue of grave concern both for Pakistan and the international community was discussed elaborately during the conference. Participants decided that Pakistan needs a new national narrative that is based on the consent of its people rather than on religious hatred, militarism and militancy. During the conference, the Pakistani government was urged to take responsibility of all its citizens and protect their fundamental rights enshrined and guaranteed in the constitution of Pakistan.
The SAATH Conference, October 2017, London
The participants voiced that Pakistan faced the risk of global isolation because of its continuing proxy wars, growing intolerance, support for terrorist groups and lack of rule of law. Husain Haqqani, former Pakistan Ambassador to the United States, said that growing intolerance posed threat to Pakistan and played out against Pakistan’s interests at the global level.