None of us can now live in Pakistan fearing that we can be lynched on the road anywhere. Just like you have Anti Hindu lynching, we have Anti Islam lynching. D-Do they call you anti pakistani? A- Yes, alot infact we are also told to go to India,Just as you are maybe told go to Pakistan D- Yes. Go to Pakistan D- You are Anti Indian go to Pakistan and you are anti Pakistan, you go to India. A- and we have left everything because we want a better Pakistan. D- Yes Namaskar Friends, I’m here at bon Germany and I met a very interesting person here, I thought I should interview him and show it to you as even you will get to know a lot from him. He is Ahmad Waqas Goraya. A- hi D-Hi D- He is a Pakistani, he knows a lot of the working of Pakistan, the government there and our interview is going to be related to that. D- You have told me, you have been a Human Rights activist in Pakistan A-I’m a Human right activist D- Okay, so you are a Human right activist, so which field do you work in? A- Work… It’s general human right space and basically covering political activism you can say and our weapon has always been the political satire. Through which we get a wide audience and you can say a deep truth through the means of humor and people even share that in joke Your message gets an audience too D- So, against whom do you make these satire? A-Our Idea behind the satire was that we created a Facebook page and named it as Mochi Our Indian-Pakistani friends know that Mochi is the term used for someone who polishes shoes. But our term mochi was for those politicians, media people and those people who are polishing military’s shoes. If there’s Pakistan and Military on the two opposite sides, they stand with the military. So, we used to make fun of that, we used to name an shame them, saying this is the Mochi! D- Okay so mochi of Pakistan Military A- Yes, Pakistan Military’s mochi. D- yeah, in our country we normally have Government’s Mochi and you have Military’s mochi. D- we can say that your military is more powerful than governmnet in Pakistan A- Yes, yes D- So you make satire against them, when did you started making it? A-We started in 2015, earlier it was just the media and then this new media came up- the social media and we saw that they these people are here too whose work is to do their propaganda the whole day. D- Okay, so social media has such people from the Pakistan Military who spreads propaganda? A- There are 1000s of such accounts. D- so there’s really someone behind this or its a box? A- Twitter has a lot of bots and here they have masks and pages, you can see that there’s a drama or entertainment page still this propaganda is going on. D- even we have such a thing, we have comedy pages and that has trolls for government. A- we have same problems the only different is that your dictators are democratic. this so happened that we, some friends got the idea to start Mochi They were earlier used to call as Hawaaldar here. Hawaaldar politicians, it was fun but since our caste system is related to profession, it was very insulting for them D-okay, okay A- It was satire that they are called as mochi, so we started and took a picture of a famous anchor from the internet where one pic is polished and one is dirty and we asked “Out of this which shoes was in the hand of Mubasshar Lokman?” D- So basically you were making memes A- yeah we were making memes, taking Military’s shoes, changing verses of poetry D- so then what happened? You were making satire, there must be some reply from the other end as Pakistani military is also very powerful. A- It so happens that no one knows who is behind these satire and our intention was to show that these people are interfering in the politics. They are running their business, they are Pakistan’s largest military, the largest corporation as well as well We used to tease them for fun and call them daliye wale those who make colleges, we call them cement wale we say that you will only be patriotic if you eat military cereal for breakfast and make your house out of military cement, It was like funny way to tell people that our military is doing business But this was hitting them and to what extent was this hitting them, this we realised when I visited Pakistan for my sister’s wedding and I was planning to shift there I went on 4th of January and I was looking for a house on rent D- which year? A- 2017 and it was very unfortunate that I’m on my bike and my bike stopped as the petrol was over and two cars stopped at the back and they covered my face That means they kidnapped you? A- yes they kidnapped me. D- When you were on cycle A- Motorcycle. They stopped the motorcycle and kidnapped me I was wondering who were they, are they police then they said that you run Mochi D-How did they know that you run Mochi? A- we were doing it anonymously, one of us whose name didn’t come on media he did by mistake. See, your page is popular, You see in Pakistan’s contacts, You have 5-6 million views monthly and everyone is talking about Mochi. But know one knows who is Mochi, you are sitting among friends in hotel restaurant and you are like yes, we run Mochi. Human security labs and they caught him and he took the names of other admins and the bad luck was that I stay here, Asim Saeed in Singapore and one in Islamabad, one from Karachi but by chance we all were there as winter is a good season, we have sister’s wedding, brother’s wedding and on 4th they abducted me, Then they took away Asim on 6th D- so where they you go wrong? when you were sitting and he started bragging? A- yes yes D- if you such a kind of work, then this is an important lesson for you you don’t need o boast if the Government is like then its better to work anonymously A-See we have kept security protocol, we will not click links in the inbox, not reveal anyone’s ID we will not make any unknown person our page admin So all that things are secured in our website but regarding the human security labs, you can never guess what can happen? and Facebook doesn’t have any URl specifics so as to track the person who is posting things. It’s not so easy. So after that they took us away. D- So after that what happened? For how many days did they kept you kidnapped? A- They kept me for 24 days D- where? A- First we were at Lahore then they kept us at Islamabad. D- In jail? A- Kidnapped are not kept in jail, we were kidnapped not arrested. So they kept us in their kidnapping place their own torture cell D- Torture cell? A- yes. D- Then what happened there? A- On the first day they took us there, asked us to remove the clothes. In Punjabi it means trap him. and started hitting us under the feet, on the hips! Now we were not doing anything that can bring crores of rupees so it was just like taking out their frustrations on us as if you have made fun of us now we will show you. Meanwhile our friends started making an uproar against this outside Then there’s an uproar across border, international statements started to come Then they see that as the pressure is increasing we need to justify why we have abducted these boys. and can’t even hit, so again they started from the trolls of their social media that these boys were into blasphemy They used to insult God, they used to insult our prophet. D- Anti Islamic? A- yes, now the people are on road, like kill these boys they are abusing our prophet. Now people don’t know that Mochi’s admins are being abducted. with this they achieved two things, blasphemy, family pressure as you have anti Hindu lynching we have Anti Islam lynching. Inside we are being questioned by Mochi, building pressure for it and they released us, but when we come out to see we realises that none of us can now live in Pakistan! We could be lynched anywhere on road. D-Because people thought that you are really anti Islamic A-Here Military has solved two issues, somewhere this also came out that we run Mochi. People received two messages, if you talk against the politics or business of military and why are they not professional then Military can make you a walking target. People will kill you, Military won’t even need to and the second thing is that the military will abduct you. So this resulted an effect on many bloggers and 1000s of activists deleted their pages. D- When you were arrested A- abducted. abducted. D- yes A- So people got scared. This is a kind of crack down where if you are talking anything out of the league then you are a target. Then when we came out we saw that there has been campaigns against us for blasphemy and inside it was different. When we out, we decided that we need to speak, we need to share our side of stories that we haven’t done blasphemy. Whatever we have done is absolutely not against the constitution of Pakistan. that if the military is interfering in politics and carrying out business that means it’s taking away my chance of a fair business. It’s stopping the real politicians from coming ahead This was hurting them So what happens that the message goes loud and clear and in the long run to the military about the businesses, politics and we used to talk about the missing people too, that they abduct people, torture them. earlier these things stayed hidden as they were controlling media but now it has started to leak through the social media so they realised that it’s a narrative against us and will harm our business interest. So they took us away and when we came back again we thought of sharing our story. I went to the UN, I spoke to media that this is not the case, we haven’t done blasphemy Our issue was something else and they have made something else for us. and when we have come back, we are a traitor and also a blasphemer. This is Salman Haider, Waqas Goraya, Asim Saeed and Ahmed Raza Naseer. My informers have informed me that these 4 are at India right now and they have again started the pages from India. They are at India, India is supporting them, RAW is supporting them, they are working with RAW. Are you going to spread this lie about Pakistan around the world saying agency has picked you up? What proof do you have that the agency has picked you? How will you prove it? All this was a fraud, you are cheating the entire community. that they have been abducted for maligning the military, agency and military were called killers, to call ISI a killer, all this drama was to malign. D- So, you are being called as Anti Pakistani there? A- Yes a lot It’s not just saying that, the fun part is that we are being told to go to India! A-Just as you are being told to go to Pakistan D- yes, Go to Pakistan! D- You are Anti Indian go to Pakistan and you are anti Pakistan, you go to India. A- and we have left everything because we want a better Pakistan. D- Yes D- This is the story on both the side. A- yes both the sides, when we talk to friends here, they say that we are told to go to Pakistan A- I said no problem in this, we can go for a vacation. D- Give us the ticket we will go to even Pakistan. D- But there is a big difference here, our government do this thing and you have your military doing it. So does Government extend any support to you? A- There are two things, If you look at our political parties, then during the earlier days of Pakistan there has been a dictatorship and majority of the parties have been grown in that nursery so mentally you can see the tendency of fasicism there They won’t say it but you don’t get to hear politicians say on missing people, they silently support it. They don’t legislate on their kill and dump We are being abducted but no one will release a statement saying, what’s happening. D-Someone from the opposition? A- Everyone says in opposition. A-When their’s time for legislation, time for trial. D-No one makes the law. A- Yea no one makes the law. D- so, the government too somewhere is afraid of Military you think? A- I think more that afraid there is another factor that Like you see they are power players, they are all relatives and friends, they will hold the powers in turns. so they are responsible for that too. Whoever is the government, in 70 years you are not able to stop that 1000s of people are missing and they don’t come back for days. You are doing nothing! The military has not made the cyber crime law in Pakistan it’s made by the government on that basis all the dissents are been surrend. So I feel they are responsible, it’s not that they are afraid of. D- Okay D- so what id your story now? What do you do now? A- I’ve come back to Netherlands again, my family was here and it took time to recover after coming back here. I have a trauma. I have an IT company, I give IT services. Internet has given us this thing that you remove the country from the mulk but it still stays there virtually. So the same thing which we were doing hidden through satire now we do it directly taking names. D-So now you will do this openly in public? A-There are two things, one is that they have thrown you in public, when you don’t have your cover anymore then again there’s no need to do it undercover. Secondly if such a thing happens with you then your credibility or reputation is built and that helps your cause. So I feel its more beneficial to do it i your name rather than anonymously. D- so have you started Mochi again? A- No the reason behind it was, Mochi was by me, it was my idea, it was a team project. One person is finding the poem, one spoils it, one finds the picture another gives the idea. and that team is not back together D- so now how do you want to do this work if not through Mochi? How do you want to continue the activism? A- More important than this is that we have got a raised voice now, friends know us so the message that we wanted to share through Mochi has reached loud and clear to a great extent. but the human rights side, which we used to hide in our talks , regarding missing people, kill and dump, now we talk openly about it, raise voices and even build pressure. that they have to release the people. So I feel our voices have become stronger D- You are getting successful A- yes A- just few days ago they have abducted an activist Gul Bukhari, and they had to release him within 4 hours just due to the voices of internet. D- This is really a good news, A – yes everyone gets united, you are tweeting all your friends get into it and it turns out to be top trend So they picked him up and within 1 and a half hour there were so many tweets that everyone saw it’s a globally top trends and all the world’s media reported it So this is the another side. D- So basically this feeling of fear is just a feeling that they want to create but if we all stand together in reality then it won’t stay? A- It will not stay at will and another thing was that I’ve have been beaten a lot, but Torture doesn’t work! If somewhere you are scared that they will hit you and all then at the same time this even end your fear. You know what can they do, just hit? How much will they hit you? They will hit you with sticks and the unity that we have come back, It’s not because four friends of ours from Pakistan told us to same day when we were abducted, From Kanhaiya Kumar to Sara Rasheed to white house we are getting statement from David K from UN, UK. It started in all the newspaper around the world. My wife Mysha who coompleting PhD here, even she went to had a press conference, so the pressure that was bulit I feel we may would have never come back if this would have only been in Pakistan There’s an incident in Pakistan till we all talk about it together it won’t work. If it’s happening in India, sometime we do even this way that we can’t say from there so we are speaking from here. but keep saying and keep saying we shouldn’t comprise on this even if people don’t like it we shouldn’t stop ourselves from saying. D- stay with the truth A- always. D- This I feel, people will get a lot to learn from this that all of us should raise the voice together and every single tweet matters as you said when something turns out to be a top trend on social media then how beneficial it becomes for a Human rights activist. D-somewhere it stopped him from getting torture. A- yes, it stopped. D- So, Thanks a lot for this Interview So I hope friends that you will like this video and you have learnt a lot from this You have seen how similar are India- Pakistan, things that are happening there is also happening in our country So learn from their situation and share this video if you like it, Thank you.