HRW asks Pakistan to release supporters
ISLAMABAD: The New York-based Human Rights Watch asked President General Pervez Musharraf on Sunday to release the opposition activists rounded up ahead of the planned return of former premier Nawaz Sharif.
Ali Dayan Hasan of the HRW, referring to the news reports that Sharif’s more than 2,000 supporters have been locked up, told General Musharraf that rights-respecting leaders do not lock up people willing to participate in their country’s political process.
Ali Dayan said Musharraf should respect independent court decisions if he is serious about human rights, the rule of law and a return to democracy. He advised that no attempt should be made to undermine Pakistan’s legal system by having Sharif locked up when he arrives in Islamabad. The HRW researcher observed that General Musharraf was attempting to bolster his increasingly shaky government.
Â“The government should release the detained opposition activists immediately and allow them to peacefully welcome Nawaz Sharif freely and without threat of violence,” said Ali Dayan Hasan. He quoted that the Supreme Court of Pakistan overturned SharifÂ’s exile in its judgment and ordered the authorities not to impede the former prime minister’s return to the country.
Source: The News