PADF Condemns Musharraf’s
Chicago, Illinois: The Pakistan
American Democratic Forum (PADF), an organization founded
in 1982 to support pursuit of democracy in Pakistan, has strongly
condemned Gen Musharraf’s second coup. 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.
The PADF has also criticized the Bush Administration for its
“complicity” in the re-imposition of martial law
in Pakistan. Daniel Markey’s essay “A False Choice
in Pakistan” in Foreign Affairs exposes the utter hypocrisy
of the Bush Administration. Giving full vent to the Bush Administration’s
preference for the dictator, Markey writes: "Trying to
force a rapid democratic transition in Pakistan would prove
However, even some of Gen Musharraf’s foreign sponsors
now doubt his viability. As reported by the Washington Post
Staff writer Glenn Kessler in Sunday, Nov 4 issue: “The
Bush administration must now start from the premise that he's
gone, whether the people chuck him out or the military chucks
him out," said Xenia Dormandy, who until last year was
the National Security Council's director for South Asia. "I
would be very surprised if he lasts even six months."
The Washington Post also quotes Stephen P. Cohen, author of
The Idea of Pakistan: "The train is derailed and off
the tracks. We have to give ourselves a share of the responsibility
for this. We placed all of our chips on Musharraf."
The PADF statement reads:
The Pakistani-American community condemns the re-imposition
of martial law in Pakistan. This only shows heightened desperation
of a failing dictator whose entire Nov 3 speech was an indictment
of his own eight-year rule.
We join the main institutions of Pakistan civil society in
1. Immediate restoration of the 1973 Constitution status quo
ante October 12, 1999
2. Immediate restoration of the Supreme Court of Pakistan
status quo ante Nov 2, 2007.
3. Immediate withdrawal of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory
Authority Ordinance 2002 As Amended by the Pakistan Electronic
Media Regulatory Authority (Amendment) Act, 2007 (ACT NO.II
4. Formation of a neutral caretaker government to hold free,
fair and transparent presidential and presidential elections.
5. Complete end to pre-poll rigging.
Pre-poll rigging refers to all those procedural, administrative
and normative practices as well as tactical deployment of
government’s resources that favor some and disfavor
other parties and candidates.
It creates an uneven playing field, excludes stronger candidates
from competition, limits the chances of success for opposition
candidates through tactics such as gerrymandering, and uses
the enormous regulatory powers of the state to penalize those
who support opposition candidates. In essence, pre-poll rigging
is akin to using a loaded dice.
Gen. Musharraf's ever-increasing desperation is now observable
in pre-poll rigging through arbitrary changes in the applicability
of Articles 43 and 63 (K), excluding deporting, arresting,
humiliating some rival candidate and pardoning others, and
using state resources to bolster PML-Q MNAs and MPAs.
However, if the mood of the Pakistani people is any indication
then the final outcome may by significantly different than
what is stipulated in the imperial dictation. Those political
parties who having received a wink and a nod from the US State
Department are now busy propping up a failed dictatorship
may not escape the final fate of the Musharraf regime.