PAKISTAN: No to undemocratic and unconstitutional change 

Dear friends,

We wish to share with you the following statement from Citizens for Democracy.

Asian Human Rights Commission
Hong Kong

A Statement from Citizens for Democracy forwarded by the Asian Human Rights Commission

PAKISTAN: No to Undemocratic and Unconstitutional Change

We the Citizens for Democracy are:
Concerned about an all-sided institutional, financial and societal destabilization in a terrorism-ridden country reeling under the unprecedented havoc caused by the floods;
Alarmed at strategic and political uncertainty, reinforcing hopelessness and chaos, due to an ongoing power-struggle among various institutions of the state;

Reiterate our full faith in constitutional, democratic and representative system that ensures freedoms and fundamental rights, an independent judiciary, a free and responsible media and above all sovereignty of our people reflected through federal and provincial legislatures;
Emphasize the need for evolving a broadest national consensus among all stakeholders on major national issues, such as (a) terrorism, (b) economy (macro-economic policy, state corporations, taxation, non-development expenditure, energy, rehabilitation and reconstruction of flood and terrorism affected), (c) foreign policy, (d) national security and neighbors; and (e) transparent and accountable governance and across the board accountability;

We are of the considered view:

a. The future of the federation and our nation-state lies in democracy and continuation of constitutional, federal and democratic setup while submitting to the will of the people which is represented by the elected legislatures and governments responsible to them;

b. The state must retain its writ across the land without in any way allowing state or non-state actors to undermine it, nor must it allow any autonomous sanctuary undermining its sovereignty and international obligations;

c. All organs of the state and media must perform their functions in accordance with the letter and spirit of the 1973 Constitution, democratic norms and avoid transgressing their institutional limits while respecting the mandate of the people;

d. Both the state and society can face up to the challenges of natural calamities, terrorism, lawlessness, economic meltdown, poor-governance, human and physical security.

e. Promoting the ideals set by the Charter of Democracy and building upon the good work done by the 18th Amendment, the major political parties and the stakeholders must agree on a national agenda on, at least, five major issues mentioned earlier.

We call upon:

1. All organs of the state to work within the parameters of the constitution and frustrate any effort at change through undemocratic and unconstitutional means while remaining within their limits, respecting each others’ legitimate constitutional space, people’s mandate and ensuring independence of judiciary, a free media and a transparent and accountable governance;

2. All major political parties and stakeholders must sit together to evolve a National Agenda on (a) Terrorism, (b) Economy (macro-economic policy, state corporations, taxation, non-development expenditure, energy, rehabilitation and reconstruction of flood and terrorism affected), (c) Foreign Policy, (d) National Security and Neighbors; and (e) Transparent and Accountable Governance and Across the Board Accountability;

3. All state and non-state actors, institutions, political parties, civil society and above all federating units must join their forces to take the country out of its current predicaments on short, mid, and long term bases for peace and prosperity within and without.

Signed By Citizens for Democracy on 23rd September 2010:

Ali Ahmed Kurd, Former President Supreme Court Bar Association; Justice Tariq Mehmood, Former President Supreme Court Bar Association; I.A. Rehman, Director, HRCP, Hina Jillani,General Secretary HRCP; Imtiaz Alam, Secretary General, SAFMA; Najam Sethi, Editor, Friday Times, Secretary General South Asia Media Commission, Muhammad Ziauddin, Executive Editor, Express Tribune, Arif Nizami, Senior Editor, Abbas Athar Editor Express; Amir Mehmood, General Secretary CPNE; Saida Fazal, Resident Editor Business Recorder; Rashid Rehman, Editor Daily Times; Mehmal Sarfraz, Deputy Editor Daily Times; Nusrat Javed, Director Dunya TV; Nazir Naji, Columnist Jang; S.M. Masood, Advocate; Justice Malik Saeed Hassan; Zahid Hussain, Senior Journalist; Abbas Rasheed, Senior Journalist; Iftikhar Ahmed, TV Anchor Geo; Gen. (Rtd) Talat Masood; Babar Ayaz, Senior Journalist; Salman Raja, Advocate; Ghazi Salahuddin, Senior Columnist The News; Khawar Mumtaz, Shirtakgah; Dr. Nayyar, Educationist; Dr. Hassan Askari Rizvi, Senior Analyst; Khalid Ahmed, Director SAMS; Beena Sarwar, The News; Dr. Jabbar Khattak, Editor Awami Awaz; Syeda Abida Hussain, Former MNA; Tariq Chaudhry, Controller Aaj TV; Agha Nasir, GEO TV; Afzal Khan, Senior Journalist; Anjum Rashied, Former Editor Jang Lahore; G. N. Moughal, Senior Journalist, Khalid Faruki, editor Awaz Jang group, Nazir Leghari, Editor, Awam Jang group, Khalid Chaudhry, Editor Aaj Kal

Anjum Rashied, Coordinator CD: 0300-8446335, Citizens for Democracy: 177-A, Shadman-II, Lahore, Pakistan. Ph. 042-37555622/3, Fax: 042-37555629

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About AHRC: The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation monitoring and lobbying human rights issues in Asia. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984. The above statement has only been forwarded by the AHRC.

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Document Type : Forwarded Statement
Document ID : AHRC-FST-078-2010
Countries : Pakistan,
Issues : Democracy,