Pakistani Americans Condemn Emergency

Washington, DC: The Pakistan American Democratic Forum (PADF), an organization founded in 1982 to support pursuit of democracy in Pakistan, has strongly condemned Gen Musharraf’s imposition of emergency. The PADF has demanded immediate restoration of the 1973 Constitution status quo ante October 12, 1999 as well as restoration of the Supreme Court of Pakistan status quo ante Nov 2, 2007.
“After showing contemptuous disregard for the Constitution, the Musharraf regime has now brazenly disbanded the duly constituted Supreme Court of Pakistan apparently to escape an unfavorable verdict,” said PADF President Dr. Mohammad Ashraf.
“We salute Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and his esteemed colleague for their courage of conviction. They have restored the dignity of the Pakistani judiciary and the civil society will continue build on their sacrifices”, former PADF Chairman Dr. Agha Saeed said.
“This emergency will only lead to more chaos in the country, says Asian-American Network Against Abuse of human rights, in a statement issued in Washington. “We strongly condemn these illegal steps and issuance of the new PCO,” said the group which is dominated by Pakistani-American physicians. “With extremism rising in FATA and NWFP, it is important that the military returns to barracks, free and fair elections are held and the mandate of the people is restored.”
Munawar Laghari, Executive Director World Sindhi Institute, urged all democratic countries to disassociate themselves from the Musharraf regime and side with the people of Pakistan.
Aziz Narejo, President Sindhi Association of North America, said the declaration of emergency was “illegal and unconstitutional” and urged the international community to oppose it.
Shuja Nawaz, a political analyst and brother of former army chief Gen Asif Nawaz Janjua who has written a book on the Pakistan army, told the Post that the imposition of emergency was “a huge step backward” for Pakistan. “If this was solely aimed at fighting the terrorists, there would be no need to replace judges.”
“We all were hoping they were going to have a fair election, but suddenly I don’t know,” Shaista Mahmood told the Post. She and her husband, businessman Ray Mahmood, are active in American politics and played a key role in arranging former prime minister Benazir Bhutto’s meetings with US lawmakers when she visited Washington in Ramadan. Mr Mahmood said they hoped Gen Musharraf would now be able to do more to stop the increase in terrorist attacks. “In fairness to the president, I’m sure he did this because there have been a lot of suicide bombings in Pakistan,” Ray Mahmood said. “Maybe he did it to get things under control and then he’ll hold an election.”

 

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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