Pakistan, Saudi Arabia flouted law: HRW
WASHINGTON: Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have flouted international law by forcibly transferring Nawaz Sharif into exile in Saudi Arabia, Human Rights Watch said on Monday.
The Pakistani government’s actions are a direct affront to the Pakistani constitution and a recent Supreme Court ruling, the HRW said in a press statement.
According to Ali Dayan Hasan, HRW’s South Asia researcher, “General Musharraf has brazenly flouted international law in forcing Sharif back into exile. He has violated Pakistan’s constitution and defied a direct ruling of Pakistan’s Supreme Court. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have colluded in bundling a Pakistani citizen into a plane and forced exile.” The group pointed out that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is recognised as reflective of customary international law, states: “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.” It also states that everyone has the right “to return to his country.” Saudi intelligence and diplomatic officials were present at Islamabad airport when Sharif was forcibly exiled to Saudi Arabia, the statement noted.
“Sharif must be allowed to leave Saudi Arabia and return to Pakistan if he so wishes, and the international media and independent monitors must be provided immediate access to him,” said Hasan. “Anything less would make a mockery of international law.” Human Rights Watch also called upon the United States to condemn Sharif’s forced illegal transfer to Saudi Arabia and the mass arrests in Pakistan. “The US is not immune to the fallout when two of its closest allies conspire to deny a political opposition leader the right to return to his own country,” said Hasan. “Continuing US acceptance of its allies’ repression of political opponents in exchange for cooperation in the ‘war on terror’ is as unwise as it is wrong.” khalid hasan