US lawmakers demand normalcy in Pakistan

November 21st, 2007 - 1:42 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, Nov 21 (ANI): Pressure is building up in the US Congress for the return of constitutional normalcy in Pakistan.
Two US lawmakers — Gary L Ackerman and William D Delahunt have circulated a “dear colleague” letter to all members, rejecting Musharrafs stated grounds for declaring an emergency in Pakistan.
“We believe nothing could be further from the truth,” they said.
Pointing out that the pictures from Islamabad dont show any al Qaeda or Taliban terrorists being arrested, they claimed that Musharraf is only intent on keeping his job, both as President and as Chief of Army Staff, by pursuing a “brutal crackdown” on people.
Press reports, they said, do not show that the Pakistan Army is tracking down al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists along the border with Afghanistan, but they do show the removal of seven Supreme Court justices, the closure of independent media outlets and the suspension of the Constitution.
Ackerman and Delahunt also charged the Bush Administration for over relying on one man to achieve anti-terrorism objectives in Pakistan.
“Musharraf has made and the broken repeated promises to step down as Army Chief and to restore legitimate civilian democratic government to Pakistan. He made deals with al Qaeda supporters in Waziristan and those deals strengthened our enemies. Officials in his government sold nuclear secrets to Libya, North Korea and Iran. Yet, at every turn Musharraf has received a pass, they write.
“Musharraf is now isolated, deeply resented, and less popular with his own people than Osama bin Laden. Instead of arresting the terrorists who pose an existential threat to his regime if not the nation. Musharraf is arresting the very people with whom he could have worked to develop the political support necessary to rid Pakistan of extremists,” they added.
The two congressmen also referred to House Resolution 823 that they had introduced which condemns the imposition of “martial law” and calls on Musharraf to restore the Constitution, allow independent media to re-open, schedule parliamentary elections for January, and step down as Army Chief.
The resolution also calls on Bush to suspend all military assistance and all sales and transfers of military equipment to Pakistan until the conditions described in the resolution are met.
Since the introduction of the resolution, Musharraf has set January 8, 2008 as the date for parliamentary elections, though he has not yet given any indication of when the emergency may be lifted, the Daily Times reported. (ANI)

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