Pakistani Americans Denounce PPP Duplicity, Demand CJ’s Reinstatement
Newark, CA: At a meeting organized by the Pakistan American Democratic Forum (PADF) and addressed by Tariq Ali and Agha Saeed, about 200 American citizens, mostly of Pakistani origin, passed the following resolution denouncing the duplicitous dealings of the Zardari-Gillani administration and demanding immediate reinstatement of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and other judges who have refused to be rehired.
The Resolution also calls for repeal of 58 (2) b, and nullification of the 17th Amendment. It says:
Whereas, a just society cannot be established without an independent judiciary, supremacy of the constitution, rule of law, due process, equal justice, transparency, and accountability; and
Whereas, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry had admirably used suo moto powers to take up public interest issues like missing persons’ cases for protecting the fundamental rights of common Pakistanis and restraining the administration and security agencies from taking actions in disregard to the due process of law; and
Whereas, the Zardari-Gillani government has reneged its public commitment to reinstate Supreme Court judges illegally deposed by Gen Musharraf and is now engaging in the duplicitous rehiring of these judges; and
Whereas, rehiring of these judges, among other things, indirectly indemnify Gen Musharraf’s illegal acts during his second coup of November 2, 2007 by leaving them unchallenged and unchanged; and
Whereas, Article 6 of the Constitution (Amendment) Order, 2007 issued by Gen Musharraf on November 21, 2007, seeks to indemnify "The proclamation of emergency of November 3, all President's orders, ordinances, Chief of Army Staff orders, including the Provisional Constitution Order No 1 of 2007, the Oath of Office (Judges) Order 2007, the amendments made in the Constitution through the Constitution (Amendment) Order, 2007 and all other laws made from November 3, 2007 to the date on which emergency is revoked” and declares them “to have been validly made by the competent authority and, notwithstanding anything contained in the Constitution, shall not be called in question in any court or forum on any ground whatsoever”; and
Whereas, the Pakistan Peoples Party has indemnified Gen Musharraf’s above-referenced actions in Article 73 of the Draft Constitution (Eighteenth Amendment) Act, 2008, which reads: “In the Constitution, after Article 270AA the following new Article shall be inserted, namely, “270AAA. Validation of Ordinances etc.- (1) The Islamabad High Court (Establishment) Order, 2007 (P.O. No. 7 of 2007) and the Ordinance, except those specified in the Sixth Schedule, made between the 12th day of July, 2007 and the 15th day of December, 2007 (both days inclusive) and actions taken thereunder shall be deemed to have been validly made and taken by the competent authority notwithstanding the expiry of period of four months specified in Article 89 and notwithstanding anything contained in the Constitution shall not be called in question in any court or forum on any ground whatsoever”; and
Whereas, the Draft Constitution (Eighteenth Amendment) Act, 2008 issued by the Pakistan Peoples Party contains a number of arbitrary and person-specific clauses designed to privilege the PCO judges and encumber the Chief Justice by limiting future appointments to the Judicial Commission of Pakistan to “Non-politicized retired Chief Justice of Pakistan”;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that we join our Pakistani brothers and sisters in holding the PPP-led coalition government accountable for fulfilling their public pledges made in the Charter of Democracy and the Murree Declaration of repealing 58(2)b and nullifying the 17th amendment of the Constitution of Pakistan and restoring the Judges of the Supreme Court of Pakistan to their Nov 2, 2007 position; and
THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we join Pakistan’s legal fraternity in urging the coalition government to affect immediate nullification of the unconstitutional amendments promulgated by Gen Musharraf during last's year's emergency. Above all we demand nullification of both versions of Article 270AAA designed to indemnify Gen Musharraf's illegal acts; and
THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that all arbitrary and person-specific clauses in the PPP-proposed bills should be henceforth rescinded; and
THEREFORE BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that we reaffirm our long-term commitment to Pakistani civil society’s historic movement for legal, political, social and economic justice for the 160 million people of Pakistan.