By Faisal Rahman
General (R) Pervez Musharraf, has launched his political party recently in London. Pakistan’s politics is amazing, a dictator who was all in all in his time and used to stop people from taking part in politics or coming back in the country is now forced to restart his politics from abroad.
Public opinion is divided in Pakistan over the comeback of Musharraf. It will surely not be an easy ride for him in politics. Arrival and stay in country will not be an easy task for the former dictator.
First and the biggest hurdle that will haunt him is 3rd November. It is something over which many sections of society, regardless of their social class and political affiliations, oppose him. 3rd November issue is not only related to the suspension of constitution and illegal sacking of the judiciary, but it also connects to several human rights violations to crush the lawyers movement, media and civil society.
Lal-Masjid operation, extra-judicial killings in Baluchistan, allowing US drone and missile attacks in Pakistan, NATO supplies and troops in tribal areas have put Pakistan into a real mess. The damage he did is so severe that even after two years we are facing the deadly impact. The violations of human rights in his tenure are probably worst in the history of Pakistan. Issues of missing people, particularly Dr. Aafia Siddiqi, will surely haunt him when he comes back.
The post 9/11 policies, which were mainly adapted to give legitimacy to Musharraf’s dictatorship in the eyes of world powers, have caused more than 40 billion dollars direct economic losses to Pakistan, according to government’s own sources. In Musharraf’s tenure, the real areas of economy such as agriculture , technology manufacturing and energy were not focused upon. As a result, we are undergoing food and worst energy crisis ever.
Some impression of stability was created through fictitious economy based on banking, real estate and telecom sector, which eventually resulted in the flight of capital and currency devaluation. This short sighted approach may have got him some political support, but for the country, the approach proved to be destructive in the long run. In fact, the economic bubble burst during the last days of his tenure.
Kashmir is another issue on which Musharraf needs to be questioned. According to APHC leaders, Musharraf damaged the Kashmir cause by sidelining the issue. The main leader from APHC, Syed Ali Shah Gillani, also accused Musharraf for the split of APHC. Keeping eyes close on India’s violations of Indus Water Treaty and letting India build dams was criminal negligence. His mishandling of Dr. AQ Khan’s issue and insulting the national hero will also not be forgiven by Pakistanis.
People including me often criticize the current setup, but we also need to see the cause of this mess i.e. NRO. We shouldn’t only see the ugly dry branches of the dead tree but also need to see who is responsible for the hot water going into roots.
Musharraf’s arrival is very important for Pakistan, as we need answers for many crimes he did against the nation. His arrival is important for strengthening rule of law as it will give chance to trial him for his unconstitutional actions. I am sure if people in NWFP and Baluchistan get a chance to file cases against him in the courts for his crimes against humanity, it will help in calming down the situation in many parts of our country. It will give a chance for Army to restore its image in the eyes of many, who have grievances against the national institution due to the policies by former dictators.
Musharraf’s arrival will also be a big test for our civil society, media and the Pakistani nation as a whole. It will give us a chance to set precedence of indiscriminate justice and rule of law. I hope we will take the right decisions without falling to our prejudices and greed.
Peaceful Protest against abduction of
Dr. Aafia Siddiqui
by Pakistani Agencies in shameful manner and her selling
to USA with her three children
Thursday, 07 August 2008, 5:30 p.m. (sharp)
Parade Ground, Opp. Parliament Building,
This is a wakeup call for Ibn-e-Qasims as Dr. Aafia
Siddiqui, Prisoner # 650 calls you for help from
Bagram Airbase where she’s being tortured and
Protest to be joined by Doctors, Engineers, Lawyers,
Teachers, Students, Civil Society Activists, Families and
Children of Twin Cities
Pakistan Professionals Forum
|Civil society activists seek restoration of judges|
|Monday, April 07, 2008
LAHORE: The Concerned Citizens of Pakistan (CCP) held a protest for the restoration of judiciary in front of the Lahore Press Club here on Sunday.
The participants holding banners chanted slogans for the rule of law, the supremacy of the Constitution and the restoration of judiciary. A CCP representative, Zaman Khan, said that circumstances had altogether changed in the country but there were issues that needed commitment and dedication of the new parliamentarians.
The CCP wanted to tell the Western powers, especially the US, that democracy stood revived in the country after a long period and the US administration should not stop functioning of parliament in Pakistan, adding, the US should not support a dictator in the country when political forces had won the elections.
He said the Western powers had realised that President Musharraf was “throwing dust into their eyes” and telling them that the war on terror would be affected if democracy was revived in the country.
He said the Canadian prime minister had also expressed deep concern over Musharraf’s diplomacy in Bucharest when he claimed that Musharraf was against democracy in the country. He said the people of Pakistan had firm belief that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) would abide by the ‘Murree Declaration’. He said political forces should first restore the deposed judges of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, including chief justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, and then discuss a package for judicial reforms in parliament. He said the new coalition government should put forward any such constitutional package before the people so that they should also be aware of the public opinion over any future legislation that could affect the future of the country.
He said that they were optimistic about the restoration of judiciary because people had given a heavy mandate to political parties for this cause and political forces should not ignore valour and determination shown by the chief justice on March 9 for the rule of law and supremacy of the Constitution when he refused to bow down to military generals at the GHQ.
He said many innocent people had been killed in the tribal areas in the name of war on terror, adding, Waziristan was not a haven of terrorists and it was possible that some foreign elements were carrying out terrorist activities there. He said the government should also engage militants in negotiations in order to resolve the issue amicably rather than using innocent people as fodder for war on terror.
He said General (retd) Musharraf, who claimed to be a die-hard patriot, should not use machinations to derail the process of democracy in the country. He said Musharraf should not compel political forces to implement any constitutional package that was allegedly prepared in collaboration with Malik Abdul Qayyum. He also urged the PML-N to respect the mandate given to the party for its support for the restoration of judiciary in the country. He said that the CCP representatives would gather outside the Punjab Assembly to express solidarity with the PML-N over the issue of judiciary.
Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) Media Coordinator Muhammad Azhar said that the people of Pakistan would not rest unless all the judges of the Supreme Court were not restored. He warned the new coalition government to ward off the nefarious designs of the establishment in order to keep democracy on track.
CCP member Faryal said that people, including women, had come to streets to uphold the sovereignty of the country. She said the people had resolved to save the county from all internal and external conspiracies. She said that Pakistani would never succumb to the US and UK pressures and they were determined to protect and promote democratic values in the country at any rate.