PADF Condemns Musharraf’s Second Coup

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 similarly counterproductive."
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 demanding:
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 OF 2007).
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.


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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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