Pakistan may face suspension from CommonwealthNovember 14th, 2007 - 10:15 am ICT by admin
A press statement from the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) issues here today said that things have gone “very wrong in Pakistan,” and its journey towards democracy was further derailed last Saturday, when General Musharraf declared a state of emergency that suspended the Constitution, sacked members of the Supreme Court and suppressed all dissent across the country.
It said that the response of the global community to this development has ranged between outright condemnation of a virtual coup to reserved comments based in alliance, rather than recognition of the absolute disregard for democracy, the rule of law and judicial independence.
“No one - least of all its South Asian neighbours - want an unstable, fragmented and ungovernable Pakistan. General Musharraf claims that the emergency is a move to ensure stability - and uses the threat of terrorism to justify the suppression of political opposition. The reality is that the emergency is creating exactly the environment that it seeks to prevent, and is putting regional security, democratic governance and the well being of Pakistani communities at grave risk,” the CHRI said.
It went on to say that CMAG is the opportunity for the Commonwealth to reaffirm unequivocally that democracy, democratic processes and institutions, the rule of law and just, and honest government are the fundamental political values of the Commonwealth, as set out in the Harare Declaration, the set of principles that CMAG is mandated to protect.
“Swift action signalling total disapproval of the General’s actions will reinforce that membership of the Commonwealth is predicated on an absolute promise to protect and promote these values. CMAG has taken action before - in Nigeria following the imposition of military rule in 1995 and in Fiji late last year, after Commodore Bainarama overthrew the democratically elected government,” it added.
The release further said that Pakistan itself was suspended from the Commonwealth following General Musharraf’s military coup in 1999. It was readmitted as a member of the Commonwealth in 2004, on the basis of a promise to entrench democratic governance.
Musharraf also promised to hang up his army uniform, in recognition of the clear breach of democratic standards that comes with a leader heading up both the army and the government. But has not kept this promise, despite further prodding from the Commonwealth Heads of Government in late 2005, international pressure, and the latest rounds of legal action inside Pakistan that precipitated the declaration of emergency.
“Pakistan has remained on CMAGs agenda since it rejoined the Commonwealth, in recognition of the tenuous state of democracy and human rights in the country.”
CHRI demanded that CMAG must suspend Pakistan from the Commonwealth on Monday. It said that Pakistan’s attendance at this meeting as a member of the Commonwealth would make an absolute mockery of the very basis of Commonwealth membership. “It would also be the loss of a real chance for the world to demonstrate that internationally accepted principles of good governance and democracy are true standards and not just comforting words.” (ANI)
- Mood sours as CHOGM stalls rights monitor move - Oct 29, 2011
- Commonwealth to intervene in democracy subversion, rights monitor stalled - Oct 28, 2011
- Maldives threatens to pull out from Commonwealth - Sep 12, 2012
- Commonwealth fails to pass the reforms test - Oct 30, 2011
- Commonwealth asked to act on threat to Asma Jehangir - Jun 09, 2012
- Commonwealth appoints special envoy to Maldives - Mar 02, 2012
- Nov 3, 2007 turning point for Pakistan's judiciary: Chief Justice - Feb 07, 2011
- Decision to hold next CHOGM in Sri Lanka criticised - Oct 30, 2011
- Pakistan set to be readmitted to Commonwealth - May 12, 2008
- Probe Asma Jahangir's death plot, say human rights groups - Jun 06, 2012
- Fiji faces expulsion from Commonwealth - Apr 14, 2009
- Maldives proposes presidential polls in 2013 - Apr 18, 2012
- Activists demand intelligence, para-military forces answer RTIs - May 27, 2012
- Musharraf's launch of party draws hostile response - Oct 02, 2010
- Musharraf should be put on trial for October 1999 coup: Kaira - Nov 04, 2010
Tags: asian neighbours, chri, cmag, commonwealth, democracy and human rights, democratic governance, democratic processes, derailed, disregard, face suspension, general musharraf, harare declaration, honest government, human rights initiative, members of the supreme court, ministerial action group, pakistan general, rule of law, towards democracy, unequivocally