Amnesty asks lawmakers to restore rights
LONDON, March 13: Amnesty International called on Pakistani lawmakers on Thursday to take action to restore rights suspended since a state of emergency last year, when parliament meets next week.
In a report entitled “Repairing the damage: ensuring robust human rights safeguards,” Amnesty voiced concern in particular over the diminished role of an independent judiciary. President Pervez Musharraf imposed a state of emergency and sacked some 60 judges on Nov 3, days before the Supreme Court was due to rule on the legality of his new presidential term, which he secured while he was still army chief.
“Steps taken by Pervez Musharraf, both as Chief of Army Staff and as president, breached both national and international law,” said Tim Parritt, Amnesty’s deputy head for Asia.
“Musharraf suspended fundamental rights including the right to life and freedom from discrimination, put his actions beyond judicial review and illegally replaced judges critical of the executive,’’ he added.
Amnesty said the new parliament should stand firm.