Independent judiciary, free media not acceptable to US -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Independent judiciary, free media not acceptable to US

KARACHI (February 10 2008): Amir Jamaat-i-Islami Pakistan and leader of All Pakistan Democratic Movement (APDM) Qazi Hussain Ahmed has said that independent judiciary and free media in Pakistan are not acceptable to America as these may lead to an end of the dictatorship of its close ally Pervez Musharraf.

He was talking at the ‘Meet the Press’ program of Karachi Press Club here on Saturday. JI Sindh provincial Amir Asadullah Bhutto and Karachi JI Amir Muhammad Hussain Mehnti were also present on the occasion.

Terming the dictatorship a major cause of growing terrorism in the country, the Qazi said that only ‘real’ democracy and ‘independent’ judiciary could tackle it. He said that the media and judiciary were creating mass awareness in the country which was harming the interests of US and its allies in the region and they fully supported Pervez Musharraf in his steps against both these institutions.

Defending APDM’s strategy of boycotting the forthcoming elections, he said that the alliance considered the election as an attempt to strengthen the system being led by President Musharraf. He claimed that APDM’s elections boycott campaign aimed at restoring civil democratic system in the country that would be governed by the institutions instead of a single person.

Terming the caretaker government’s continuation of the past regime, he said that it was formed without consulting the opposition parties and they have no confidence in it. He said that the caretaker Prime Minister was the covering candidate of Pervez Musharraf in presidential polls and the PML-Q and its allies had nominated the ministers of his cabinet as well as provincial governments.

“In such a situation, where independent judiciary and free media are not available and the partiality of the Election Commission and caretaker government is crystal clear, expectations for free and fair polls are not realistic”, he maintained.

Qazi said that the parties contesting elections were also accusing the present regime of involvement in pre-poll rigging, and expressed hope that they would rejoin APDM after the elections of February 18.

He said that President Musharraf had declared emergency just to depose of the Judges, as he was afraid of the expected verdict of the Supreme Court bench over his candidature for presidential poll and the case of missing persons. He praised the lawyers’ movement and urged the nation to fully participate in it.

He demanded resignation of President Musharraf, establishment of independent election commission and interim government, reinstitution of deposed judges and the constitution as it was before October 12, 1999 and vowed to continue struggle till the achievements of these goals.

He condemned Sindh Government’s step of not allowing APDM to hold its scheduled public gathering at Nishter Park and announced that the gathering would be held now at Banaras Chowk on Sunday.

He also condemned ban on the entry of Imran Khan in Sindh and said that attempt was made on the desires of an ethnic group who, according to him, was trying to turn the province especially Karachi to No-Go areas for its critics.

On a question, he said that the United Nations and Scotland Yard could not conduct independent probe in the assassination of Benazir Bhutto as they were safeguarding the US interest of not letting any political leadership to emerge in Pakistan. He demanded formation of a national commission for the purpose, constituted over the Supreme Court judges who did not take oath under PCO of 1999.

He said that conspiracies were being hatched to foil peace of Sindh, especially Karachi, and a group has been given free-hand to do what it wants, vowing that the APDM would resist such attempts with its full capacity. He maintained that President Musharraf would directly be considered as responsible of any mishap being occurred on February 18.
Source: Business Recorder
Date:2/10/2008