PRM condemns Sanaullah’s torture
RAWALPINDI: The People’s Rights Movement (PRM), a confederation of social movements across Pakistan, condemned on Tuesday the “despicable abduction and beating” of Sanaullah Khan, deputy leader of the opposition in the Punjab Assembly, “ostensibly by the same forces that have made a mockery of the democratic process over the past few months”.
A press statement said that the recent Senate elections exposed the manner in which the establishment manipulated electoral process in the country to maintain its monopoly in areas of decision-making and resource-allocation.
However, the tactics employed to intimidate the opposition “have reached new lows” with the kidnapping and harassment of Sanaullah Khan, it added.
The press statement observed that the establishment had systematically tried to weaken those parties which were opposed to its efforts to consolidate power, including the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians (PPPP).
It said the elected members of those parties were co-opted into deserting their parties, and the kidnapping incident proved that the establishment had little patience for democratic norms.
“The Senate elections have thrown up winners who were ministers in the Musharraf cabinet including the ex-ISI chief, Javed Ashraf Qazi, and Shaukat Aziz. This proves once and for all that the ‘elected’ government will not veer from the policy direction of the Musharraf regime, while distorting the democratic process.”
The current outcry in the national assembly over the Legal Framework Order (LFO) was yet another example of the manner in which the country’s real power brokers were reducing the primary decision-making body in the country to a non-entity, it added.
The statement noted that the government had taken five months to call the session of parliament, and “now the insidious attempt to institutionalize the LFO has further weakened the fledgling process”. “In particular, it is believed that if opposition senators follow through on their threat of refusing to take oath under the LFO, the general may use his power to dissolve the assemblies,” stated the press release.