‘Pakistan’s friends’ should ask US to stop supporting dictator: Asma
PESHAWAR: Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) Chairwoman Asma Jehangir, who was put under house arrest for three months on Saturday after the proclamation of an emergency by General Pervez Musharraf, urged the “friends of Pakistan” to ask the United States “to stop supporting the instable dictator, as his lust for power is bringing the country close to a worse form of a civil strife”.
Asma said in a statement, “It is time now for the international community to insist on preventive measures otherwise it may take decades to clean the mess.”
She feared that the government would put restrictions on the media and the judiciary after Gen Musharraf declared an emergency and held the Constitution in abeyance, suspending citizens’ fundamental rights.
“The situation in Pakistan is uncertain. There is a strong crackdown on the media and lawyers. Most judges of the Supreme Court and the high courts have not taken oath under the new provisional constitutional order. Former chief justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry is under house arrest. Supreme Court Bar Association President Aitzaz Ahsan and two former SCBA presidents Muneer Malik and Tariq Mahmood have been imprisoned for one month under preventive detention laws,” she said, adding that scores of politicians were also arrested.
“The president said that he had to clamp down on the press and the judiciary to curb terrorism. Those he has arrested are progressive, secular minded people while the terrorists are offered negotiations and ceasefires,” she said.
She vowed that lawyers and civil society would “challenge” the government and the “scene is likely to get uglier”. “We believe that Musharraf has to be taken out of the equation and a government of national reconciliation put in place. It must be backed by the military. Short of this, there are no realistic solutions, although there are no guarantees that this may work,” she stated. staff report