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How West’s double standards is running the world into chaos?

A cursory look into various constitutions endorses the same for example the US guarantees freedom of speech to every citizen under the First Amendment to Constitution 1787 however imposes Restrictions on incitement, defamation, fraud, obscenity, child pornography, fighting words, and threats. It is time that the west must shed this brazen practice of adopting double standards on human rights issues and use them to target selected states for vested interests

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Of late, the EU appreciated Pakistan for passage of legislation related to human rights and continued Pakistan-EU engagements despite challenges of Covid-19 but at the same time raised concerns about cases of torture, enforced disappearances, access to justice, and misuse of the blasphemy law, freedom of religion, expression and media.

Previously, the US also re-designated Pakistan as a Country of Particular Concern (CPC) for violating religious freedom on 17 Nov 2021. Such is ‘politically targeted’ efforts to keep Pakistan under pressure and hence must be seen in the context of the US-EU-UK nexus. Paradoxically, suppression of Pakistan will continue to appear in the media outlets both print and digital on the pretext of human rights notwithstanding the rising tide of racism and human rights abuse in the west.

Read more: UN voices concern over increasing violence in occupied West Bank

Where did the West go wrong?

Since racism is “Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief” therefore it would not be naïve to say that the growing racism in the EU is indeed a structural form of human rights abuse. For a record only, Cricketer AzeemRafiq is just one of the victims of growing racism in the English society among many who are humiliated on daily basis on account of “color, creed, and ethnicity” by their “white” countrymen. A few more additions to this reality include Black and Muslim minorities having twice the unemployment rate of their white British peers besides the statistical rise in incidents of hate crimes like arson attacks against mosques, Muslim community and vehicle ramming predominantly in England and Scotland.

Another serious concern that has gained popularity in the west in recent times is the hostile environment in Pakistan towards dissenting voices or freedom of speech. But would the west or so-called ‘defender of free speech’ have ever cared to look in the mirror? It is a reality that every country of the world guarantees freedom of expression but sadly not “absolutely”.

A cursory look into various constitutions endorses the same for example the US guarantees freedom of speech to every citizen under the First Amendment to Constitution 1787 however imposes Restrictions on incitement, defamation, fraud, obscenity, child pornography, fighting words, and threats. Similarly, Article 10 of the Human Rights Act 1998 guarantees freedom of speech to every British citizen but again restricts it in interests of national security, territorial integrity, for prevention of disorder or crime, for preventing the disclosure of classified information, or for maintaining authority/impartiality of the judiciary.

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France, which is always at the forefront to decry Pakistan, declares that Article 11 of the law protects freedom of the press, except to respond to the abuse of this liberty, in the cases determined by the law.  In the same way, the ‘favorite’ democracy of the US-led west that is India gives liberty to every citizen to freely express under Article 19 of the constitution but impose Restrictions in the interest of the sovereignty, integrity and security of the state, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, decency and morality and contempt of court, defamation and incitement to an offense. The constitution of Pakistan also goes by the same principle that the entire world is going through so where lay the problem?

Sadly, the problem lies not with Pakistan but with the lens that the west uses to see the poor country. The problem lies with the tongue that the western mouthpieces use to present Pakistan and with minds that are filled with figments of illusion.

Pakistan is not the only state where corruption is rampant, the UK is famously known to be the safe haven for looted wealth from all around the world especially countries like India, Pakistan and Africa where legal systems are weak and easy to escape. An edition of the renowned newspaper of the UK ‘The Independent’ recently wrote that London, one of the biggest financial centers in the world, has become an increasingly attractive place for criminals to hide their wealth.

According to a transparency group Global Witness, around 87,000 properties in the UK were owned by anonymous companies mostly in proximity to the UK parliament. The total value of 40% of these properties is more than 100 billion pounds ($135 billion). That’s not it.

How UK shelters known fugitives from across the world?

This UK, a tiny island, has also become a lucrative destination for fugitive billionaires from all over the world. It doesn’t matter if Nawaz Sharif and Ishaq Dar, absconders of Apex Courts of Pakistan, are roaming scot-free right under the nose of London authorities. It really doesn’t matter if Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi absconders of Apex Courts of India is also given legal protection by the UK. After all these fugitives have Britain trusted with their many billions what if they are looted. And yet west dare to whip Pakistan on excuses of human rights, corruption and freedom of speech. Isn’t unwarranted concerns of the US-led west clear manifestation of their ‘selective targeting’ against certain countries.

It is a naked reality that the word “racism’ has become a “Buzz Word” in the English society to represent them as anti-racist, whereas the situation on the ground suggests otherwise. Discrimination amongst various races, religions, colors and creeds is an everyday affair within Western nations including the US, UK, France and interestingly these nations target other nations on the same charges. White supremacists dominate Europe while the government pretends to be the strong opponents of “racism”. Apart from the common citizens of color, celebrities and cricketers of other ethnicities are also victims of racial mindset. The case of Azeem Rafiq is an example.

Read more: Turkey sees Pakistan like balance of payment crisis: Reserves lowest since 2003

It is time that the west must shed this brazen practice of adopting double standards on human rights issues and use them to target selected states for vested interests. It’s time to draw lessons from what once Jacob Zuma said that People are constantly applying double standards. Take the United States, for example. Washington wants the whole world to admire the country for its democracy. Then the government sends out its army, in the name of this democracy, and leaves behind the kind of chaos we see in Iraq.

 

The writer is an Islamabad-based student of IR and can be reached at sishfaqccz@gmail.com. The views expressed by the writers do not necessarily represent Global Village Space’s editorial policy

 

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