PANA Convention Supports Judiciary and Democracy in Pakistan

The Pakistan American National Alliance (PANA) unanimously adopted a resolution in support of judiciary and democracy in Pakistan at its US-wide convention in Springfield, VA on Saturday, April 21, 07.
The resolution stated:
We, the delegates to the PANA US-wide Convention, are deeply concerned about the systematic undermining of the Pakistani judiciary by Gen Musharraf who had seized power in a coup in October, 1999.
According to all of Pakistan 's High Court and Supreme Court bar associations, Gen Musharraf, who is seeking “reelection” later this year, has unconstitutionally suspended the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. An independent Supreme Court was the only potential check on Musharraf's arbitrary rule.
We therefore 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 all 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 he has 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. In compliance with the Article 43 of the Constitution***, Gen Musharraf must either shed his uniform or vacate the office of the president.
6. Gen Musharraf must ask to the Supreme Court to decide whether or not he can get himself elected by the current assemblies.
7. The Musharraf regime must stop kidnapping Pakistani citizens on behalf of foreign agencies and it must leave complete information about those previously kidnapped. It must also seek release of those illegally arrested and deported to undisclosed destinations.
8. All political detainees – prisoners of conscience – must be immediately freed.
[***43. Conditions of President's office. -(1) The President shall not hold any office of profit in the service of Pakistan or occupy any other position carrying the right to remuneration for the rendering of services.]



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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