Sydney (Tribune International, Report, 3 June 2023): Through a video message, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Australian Government, diplomats, Australian politicians, parliamentarians, and human rights organizations for their unwavering concern regarding the deteriorating and chaotic situation in Pakistan.
Now members of the Pakistani community receiving unknown calls assumably from Pakistan where the caller warns them to stop posting any posts against the government’s current operation otherwise, they will be putting behind the bars when arrive in Australia. I have also received that audio call on my WhatsApp.
Over the past few weeks, I have reached out and sent letters to several influential figures, including the Australian Prime Minister Hon Anthony Albanese, Foreign Minister Hon Penny Weng, Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens and Senator for NSW, Hon Dr. Mehreen Faruqi, Australian Greens’ Foreign Affairs spokesperson Senator Hon Jordon Steele-John, Premier of NSW Hon Chris Minns, Federal Member of Parliament Andrew Charlton, NSW Members of Parliament Donna Davis, Hon Julia Finns, Hon Lynda Voltz, and Australian Ambassador in Islamabad Hon Neil Hawkins.
I would like to extend a special thanks to Senator Dr. Mehreen Faruqi from the Greens, who responded to me and urged the Government of Pakistan to uphold the human rights of its people, as well as respect freedom of speech and press freedom.
I am also grateful to Hon Julia Finn and Hon Lynda Voltz for agreeing to meet with me in their offices next week. It is heartening to see Australian leaders take a stand and engage in dialogue.
Moreover, I am deeply appreciative of Senator David Shoebridge for raising his voice during the session of the Foreign Affairs Defence and Trade Legislative Committee at the Parliament. It is a positive step forward that the Australian government is now speaking out.
As a journalist, activist, and community representative with Pakistani origins, I am committed to exposing and condemning the brutality and inhumane acts carried out by the present government and law enforcement agencies against Pakistani citizens. The leader of the majority political party, PTI, Mr. Imran Khan, has faced victimization, isolation, and attacks by these agencies, seeking to eliminate him. Therefore, it is imperative that Pakistani Australians continue to raise their voices. We are fortunate to be in Australia, where we are safe and living with freedom of speech and in a truly democratic society.
I have a long discussion with Mr. Hassan Kadri, the community engagement officer, and have a plan to personally meet him for further action.
I would like to express my gratitude to Australian Ambassador Hon Neil Hawkins, who has met with Imran Khan and government officials to discuss the chaotic political situation and the inhumane treatment of political leaders and workers of PTI.
I am immensely grateful for the response of our Australian leaders, who are expressing their concerns to the Pakistani government.
Dear members of the Pakistani community, I appeal for your support in joining me to raise our voices for our relatives and fellow Pakistanis in Pakistan. Together, we can make a difference and advocate for a better future.
Syed Atiq ul Hassan