Pakistan must reverse Musharraf policies


Amnesty calls for Government to take action

A YEAR after the former President Pervez Musharraf unlawfully declared a state of emergency in Pakistan, the country is still suffering from the abusive policies he put in place, Amnesty International has claimed.

Last year Pervez Musharraf sacked 60 senior judges, suspended the Constitution, including the human rights protection it guaranteed and replaced it with the Provisional Constitution Order.

The new civilian government took office after general elections in February 2008, but has not, said Amnesty, done enough to improve the country’s human rights situation since then.

Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Director, said: “The new civilian government which replaced Musharraf has taken some steps to improve on Pakistan’s poor human rights record, but it could and should do more, starting immediately with declaring the 2007 dismissal of judges illegal.

“Pakistan’s leaders need to actively demonstrate that they respect the rule of law and that the government is responsible for the human rights of all Pakistanis. Without re-establishing its legitimacy and credibility through a strong independent judiciary system, the Pakistani government will be unable to overcome the many troubles facing the country.”

Immediately before the state of emergency was declared, Pakistan’s Supreme Court was in the process of ruling on President Musharraf’s eligibility to contest the October 2007 presidential elections.

The judiciary was also pursuing several hundred habeas corpus petitions brought by families of those who had been subjected to enforced disappearances by Pakistan’s security agencies.

But despite the new Government taking office Pakistan’s judiciary has still not been restored to its 2 November 2007 status.

Amnesty urged the government to reverse constitutional amendments introduced by President Musharraf as well following through on its promise in June this year to commute all death sentences.


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