Civil society says no to safe exit for Musharraf


KARACHI: The establishment is trying to give Musharraf a safe exit, and this would not only be a miscarriage of justice but also further polarise the Pakistani society, strengthening the belief that there are separate laws for the poor and the rich in this country, said the speakers at a protest demonstration on Sunday.
The protest was staged by the civil society in front of the Karachi Press Club (KPC) against the alleged backdoor manoeuvring to provide the former dictator a safe passage to leave the country without facing trial for his alleged crimes. Speaking on the occasion, Pasban Pakistan General Secretary Usman Moazzam said that we love our armed forces, but not the traitors. He said that it would also affect the feelings of the people if the “traitors” are not punished for their crimes. He said that we should uphold the constitution, and punish those who topple the elected democratic governments and keep the constitution in abeyance. He said that any step taken to allow Musharraf to flee from the country would certainly backfire for the sitting government.
He said that Musharraf has to answer regarding Aafia Siddiqui, and thousands of other innocent Pakistanis like her. He said that the whole nation is standing with its brave armed forces and all conspiracies against the national security institutions would be foiled. Pasban President Shakil Sheikh said that the nation would not allow Musharraf to go abroad. He said that the former president had committed grave crimes against Pakistan, its constitution and its people. He said that instead of facing his cases, he is trying to flee and the establishment is also helping him in this regard. He added that it would be shocking for the whole Pakistani nation if he is allowed to leave the country.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Lawyers Forum President Abdul Waheed said that Pakistan needs rule of law and supremacy of constitution. He said that there is another NRO in offing to allow Musharraf to leave the country and put cases against him in cold storage. He said that if we are really willing to transform our society and make Pakistan a country ruled by law, the establishment should stop helping the former president. He added that the legal fraternity would strongly protest if the dictator is offered a safe exit.
Human Rights Network (HRN) President Intakhab Alam Suri said that Musharraf was also responsible for the killings of hundreds of thousands of innocent Pakistani civilians, including women and children, murdered cold-bloodedly by the CIA drone attacks, as he was the man who permitted these attacks. He said that as a nation, our memory is very poor and we have forgotten this grave crime of the former dictator for which he must be tried in court of law.
He added that when we claim to make Pakistan a justice-based society, there should be equal laws for the weak and the strong. He said that the Pakistani legal system should deal all the accused equally irrespective of their status or clout. The civil society leaders demanded to not allow Musharraf to leave the country till all the cases against him reach their logical end. They asked the government to stop its inaction on the issue of Aafia and bring her back home at the earliest. The protesters included teachers, lawyers, traders, students, women and children and raised slogans against Musharraf and in favour of the Pakistan Army and Aafia Siddiqui. They later dispersed peacefully. 

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