ISLAMABAD: Concerned Citizens of Pakistan (CCP) is a non-partisan group of Pakistani citizens who have been actively striving to promote the rule of law.
They have played an important role in organising civil society as a force that could help shape the destiny of Pakistan. Gravely concerned about the prevailing unrest and chaos in the country, CCP members called upon the federal government and the Punjab government to uphold and respect the citizens’ fundamental rights of assembly, association and expression enshrined in Articles 16, 17 and 19 of the Constitution of Pakistan. The CCP called upon both the governments to reverse their current coercive means of maintaining public order by calling Army in aid of civil power in Islamabad under an expansive interpretation of Article 245 of the Constitution, by imposing section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code in Islamabad and by denying citizens their fundamental rights of movement and earning a living by blocking highways across Punjab and barricading busy thoroughfares of Lahore and Islamabad with containers.
Besides their unlawfulness, these measures have caused great distress to the ordinary citizens whose lives have been paralysed. The CCP urged both the governments to allow the protesters to peacefully proceed and expend their energies, instead of trying to contain them, which would cause further violence and disruption.
The aggressively restraining action by an elected government creates distrust between the citizens and the government.The CCP advocating their right to peaceful protest called upon all protesting political parties to carry out their protests peacefully without disrupting public safety and property. The protesting parties should ensure their rhetoric did not incite their supporters to violence.
Their incendiary oratory can lead to anarchy and instability in the country by creating dissensions in our society. The enemies of Pakistan would benefit from the ensuing confusion. The government and opposition parties need to enter into a meaningful dialogue where the legitimate grievances of injured and affronted parties are positively redressed. Democratic norms demand a negotiated solution to all differences arising out of lack of communication between various stakeholders in a democratic dispensation. The CCP is concerned about the preservation of sanctity of Independence Day and hence called upon all the stakeholders to ensure Pakistan’s 67th Independence Day remained a day of celebration of our hard-fought independence.
It passes peacefully and does not become an occasion for any untoward violent incident from any side, which could create a state of chaos. The CCP reaffirms its unqualified support to valiant armed forces, are risking their lives in the war against terror. CCP maintains commitment to the internally displaced Pakistanis, who have left their homes for the sake of security. We pledge to assist them morally, materially and to help them to restore and improve their lives. May our 67th Independence Day usher in an era of peace and stability, resting on democratic and constitutional norms. Pakistan should free from terrorism and where rule of law prevails.
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