PANA Demands Compliance with Constitution

The Pakistan American National Alliance (PANA), a coalition of Pakistani American organizations, held a rally June 1, 2007 in New York and has sent this resolution to General Pervaiz Musharraf through the Consul General of Pakistan in New York .
The resolution was adopted and handed over to the Consul General after the protest rally outside the Consulate in New York. It was attended by close to 150 Pakistani-American pro-democracy activists. Several pro democracy political party leaders from ANP, PPP and PML(N) also participated in the rally.
The rally was organized by PANA to protest the MAy 12 Karachi massacre. It demanded an independent inquiry, restoration of the 1973 Constitution, restoration of Chief Justice of Pakistan and end of military dictatorship by by way of free elections conducted by an independent election commission and monitored by international civic NGOs.
Following is the letter sent to General Pervaiz Musharraf.

General Pervaiz Musharraf
Army House
Rawalpindi, Pakistan
C / O Pakistan Consulate New York
New York, New York

Dear Gen. Pervaiz Musharraf,

The Pakistan-American National Alliance (hereafter, PANA) is a US-wide coalition of Pakistani-American organizations. Its mission is to coordinate the autonomous activities of its member organizations to achieve common goals conceived for the collective good of Pakistan and Pakistani-Americans.
We are sending you this PANA resolution for your solemn contemplation and immediate action to rectify the rapidly-deepening crisis caused by the unconstitutional suspension of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, wanton carnage of May 12 in Karachi , increasing harassment of the media, and utter unwillingness to accommodate civil society’s genuine concerns.
We Pakistani-Americans see the massacre in Karachi on May 12, 2007 as undeniable proof of government’s failure. If the writ of the state was made to fail by design then the government is a co-conspirator in these murders, if it happened despite its best efforts then it is guilty of enormous incompetence, and if came about due to lack of preparation then it is a case of criminal negligence.
The tragedy of May 12, 2007 Karachi Massacre is unbearable and unforgivable. An independent, judicial commission of inquiry must be immediately created to find and punish the guilty. In a recent letter to the Acting Chief Justice of Pakistan, we have urged him to conduct a suo moto inquiry of May 12 mayhem, killings and destruction in Karachi . Why are you not asking for the same?
As concerned Pakistani-Americans we demand:
1. The important juridical and institutional separation between the Supreme Court and the Supreme Judicial Council must not be abridged.
2. Gen Musharraf must acknowledge, recognize and respect Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan with full power and authority till a verdict is reached by the Supreme Judicial Council.
3. Gen Musharraf and his government colleagues must immediately stop meddling with the Supreme Judicial Council’s deliberation which they are doing by making public statements about the reference prejudicial to a fair and impartial outcome.
4. As Gen Musharraf had apologized to the Geo TV for ransacking of their premises by the police, Gen Musharraf must also apologize to the Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry for summoning him to the Army House, pressuring him to resign, holding him against his will, and later placing him under house arrest. He must also apologize for mistreatment and manhandling of the Chief Justice by the police.
5. The 1973 Constitution as on 12th October 1999 before the military coup shall be restored. However, the next democratically elected parliament must retain the new provisions pertaining to joint electorate, minorities and women’s reserved seats, and the lowering of the voting age.
6. The overthrowing of elected government should be declared a crime – a capital offense - under Article 6 of the Constitution of Pakistan.
7. Formation and working of an independent, autonomous, and impartial Election Commission should be enshrined and guaranteed through a constitutional amendment.
In compliance with the Article 43 of the Constitution, Gen Musharraf must either shed his uniform or vacate the office of the president.
9. The Musharraf regime must stop kidnapping Pakistani citizens on behalf of foreign agencies and it must disclose complete information about those previously kidnapped. It must also seek release of those illegally arrested and deported to undisclosed destinations.
10. All political detainees – prisoners of conscience – must be immediately freed.

We sincerely hope that you will be willing to read the writing on the wall of history, correct the wrongs, comply with the Constitution of Pakistan, respect the independence of judiciary, value the freedom of the press, and restore the autonomy of the legislature.

Muhammad Ashraf Toor
Pakistan American National Alliance
June 1st, 2007

Members of the Pakistan American National Alliance (PANA) include:
1. Coalition of Pakistani Organizations of Chicago (COPOC)
2. Indus Society (IS)
3. Pakistani American Christian Association of Chicago (PACAC)
4. Pakistan American Council of Texas (PACT)
5. Pakistani-American Democratic Dialogue (PADD)
6. Pakistan American Democratic Forum (PADF)
7. Pakistan Association of Riverside (PAR)
8. Pakistan Cultural Association of New Orleans (PCANO)
9. Pakistan USA Freedom Forum (PUFF)
10. Pakistan League of America (PLA)


Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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