Pakistan Observer

Dangers to democracy soar after SC order: HRCP

Salim Ahmed

Wednesday, January 16, 2013 - Lahore—The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has said that following the Supreme Court (SC) order for the arrest of the prime minister, the threats to democratic dispensation have escalated enormously. The HRCP said in a statement on Tuesday: “It is difficult to measure the misfortune of the luckless people of Pakistan that their state is coming apart at the seams and they have been rendered passive spectators to an ugly drama divorced of any justification.

On the one hand, we are still burying the Quetta dead and pondering over the consequences of putting the fate of the people of Balochistan in the hands of the FC, and on the other a certain Mr. Qadri has been haranguing an audience with double talk and untruths, raising the veneer of an intolerant, pseudo-religious polity after a march which in many civilised nations would be considered a rebellion against the state.

HRCP does not want to comment on the merits of a case before the honourable Supreme Court but we do believe that attempts to regulate politics through judicial hustling have never been fruitful anywhere in the world. If nothing else, the judiciary has to weigh the consequences of its decisions on the state whose interest it is supposed to safeguard. With all due respect to the Supreme Court, it appears certain that the decision on the prime minister’s arrest will not escape censure by democratic opinion.

Coincidentally, all of this is happening as the people are waiting to choose their representatives for the next five years. Many might consider that the Supreme Court has done much more than pour oil on raging flames. All these things put together make the task of the people of Pakistan to preserve the democratic character of the state infinitely more difficult.

HRCP calls upon all political parties to realise their stake and that of the people of Pakistan in salvaging the idea of a democratic state out of all this chaos, because any derailment of the democratic system at this juncture will imperil Pakistan’s integrity and undermine the prospects of the future generations. They must join hands and agree on holding as soon as possible the general elections, which could perhaps help the people find their way out of the mess for which no party seems free of blame.”

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