HRCP laments elected PM’s removal
LAHORE: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has termed the disqualification and removal of prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani a sad occasion in a country where democratic traditions have perpetually been denied the nourishment they need to take roots and called for maximum possible understanding among political parties.
“The Supreme Court judgment was perhaps not unexpected. The removal of the elected prime minister, especially in a country like Pakistan where democratic traditions are very weak, is saddening and certainly not a matter for rejoicing,” a statement issued on Wednesday by the HRCP said.
“Nobody can deny the imperatives of legal dispensation, but the implications of the judgment in a far from stable society and the severe crisis that it seems to give rise to have perhaps not been taken into consideration.
“It needs to be remembered that after repeated spells of dictatorship the state’s capacity to sustain the democratic system cannot be expected to be very strong.”
It said democratic institutions needed to be nourished and helped to grow through advice and persuasion rather than punitive action that often did more harm than good.
“The principle that judges should be extra careful in deciding matters regarding their own contempt demands much greater respect than has apparently been accorded to it in this instance.”
The commission said the judgment would raise questions about the whole concept of contempt of court and the nature and extent of the punishment that could be awarded, especially imprisonment.
“At this critical time, the threats to democracy require the maximum possible understanding among political parties and the country’s democratic future will be undermined if they continue to fight among themselves for narrow partisan ends. Ultimately, the people have to
decide who governs them and we hope that the environment will not be polluted to the extent that a fair determination of electoral will becomes impossible.”