Daring Pakistani refugee Journalist lives in limbo.
KUALA LUMPUR: Investigating against the illegal and inhumane activities of Pakistan’s notorious law enforcement agencies, Syed Fawad Ali Shah, a well known journalist in his country is forced to live his life in exile to protect his life. But the miseries put on him by the dark forces from his native countries are still haunting him even in exile. “The Pakistani authorities have made an example of me for all of those who dare to think unmasking inhumane and terror promoting activities of the covert agencies who think themselves above the law of the land.” My crime was only that, i dared to report on injustices being committed on the name of ‘war on terror’ and giving voice to those whose near one’s were disappeared by the covert agencies without producing any evidence against them. That made me an enemy of the powerful military bureaucracy who have since 9/11 incident run the whole show of ‘war against terror’. When i was reporting on these issues, often characterised as ‘red lines’ for a journalist in Pakistan, i knew the price that i am going to pay as before me there were many other who paid it with their lives. When it was unbearable for me to continue what i have started as my family and friends were threatened, antimidated and kidnapped, i decided to leave the country. Presently i am facing more a dozen charges level against me in my absence among which conspiring against the country and bringing bad reputation are included. However, before opting for exile, i was abducted in January 2011, by Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), the notorious Pakistani top covert agency famously known for playing double games with the US and West in the ‘war on terror’. “I was illegally incarcerated. No charges were put against me neither i was produced before any court of law. Instead, i was subjected to inhuman torture and threatened for life if continue irking them by continuing reporting on issues deemed impropriate to them and against self defined national interest.” United National High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) came as a help to me. From Pakistan i travelled to Thiland and from there i came to Malaysia were i have applied for political asylum to UNHCR. My case, sent by UNHCR and Resettlement Support centre (RSC) was rejected by Department Homeland Security (DHS). That was the highest phsycological blow to me as i had tall hopes that soon i may resettled and start my mission what i have left. But 3 years and 8 months has passed since i am waiting for reconsideration but haven’t got any reply from United States Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP). I will never stop reporting injustices being committed on the name of security in my home country, he firmly said showing his recent columns and news stories he reported in Pakistani national newspapers however he was uncertain about his future as his last hope The US refused to take him as refugee and Malaysia is not a signatory of refugee convention 1951. Pakistan is one of the most dangerous countries for journalists where their killing, disappearance, torture and implication in concocted cases in commonplace. Dozens of journalists have lost lives, injured or disappeared during the last few years at the hands of intelligence agencies while few have suffered at the hand of terrorists, religious gangs, political parties, gangs and mafia. A New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists has listed 60 journalists who have been killed in Pakistan since 1994 while other international bodies have also voiced their concern but to no avail. Recently Pakistan has become a one of the world’s biggest prisons for journalists and bloggers, said Syed Fawad Ali Shah, a Pakistani journalist who fled country years ago to save his life from the Pakistan’s notorious Inter Service Intelligence (ISI). He said that most of the times ISI take action on its own while sometimes it uses Jumaat-ud-Dawaa, a globally recognized terrorist organization led by infamous Hafiz Sayeed and other militant outfits. Mr. Shah said that over 157 cases of attacks and violations against reporters have been recorded in 2018 which is adversely affecting the freedom of expression and access to information environment. The violations included killing of journalists, abductions, kidnappings, physical attacks and injuries, arrests, threats and specific cases of harassment, he informed. In Pakistan the most targeted medium remained TV followed by print media for which the state, its agencies and functionaries are responsible. Relative peace should have resulted in more freedom for journalists to freely do their jobs, but this has not been the case. Now, the present government is systematically leading the country towards a controlled media with the help of civilian and military intelligence agencies while government’s advertising budget is being used as a weapon to suppress the press. For more details please dial WhatsApp number +60109301521 and mobile number +601137004407 https://hamariweb.com/articles/amp/123431 https://dailytimes.com.pk/529312/resettlement-made-impossible-for-refugee-journalists/?fbclid=IwAR0VvmnFIUYpaJ1ziKngnH7w3K19xRuhTFVvL1ELIDGwLRxY-VgxvFMC1YI https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2019/12/08/refugee-journalist-in-malaysia-tells-of-threat-by-pakistan-intelligence/ https://pakobserver.net/journalism-in-exile/