HRCP warns against latest snare for democracy

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Lahore, August 30: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has said that the army being asked to adjudicate upon matters that should have been resolved by politicians made for an “exceeding gloomy day for the country”. The Commission has stated that that was what the marchers had been seeking all along as they had refused to be amenable to efforts and observations from the executive, judiciary and parliament.
In a statement issued on Saturday, HRCP said: “There should be no two views about the fact that the day when political discord needs adjudication from the military is an exceeding gloomy day for Pakistan. It is unfortunate that that day is upon us now. This was exactly what the civil and all pro-democracy forces had feared and cautioned against.
“Developments in the last few days prove that the democratic transition that had been prematurely celebrated is a long way off yet. We had hoped against hope that the politicians would live up to their commitments and avert being pushed towards the precipice.
“The closing of ranks among the politicians to protect democracy and the constitution from this latest ambush has been the most pleasant outcome of the circus going on in Islamabad. It has also done the country a service by bringing together under one umbrella all the actors who will stop at nothing to give the so-called umpire yet another chance to intervene.
“There is no doubt any longer about who played the dirty part in this sordid affair. Notwithstanding all the mistakes that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif might have committed and his inept handling of the situation, it seems more clear than ever that Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri—who rejected efforts and observations from the executive, judiciary and parliament, including PTI’s own coalition partners in a provincial government—had come to Islamabad with the solitary objective to do all they could to invite a role from the military. Nawaz Sharif is now being painted as having given them that pleasure.
“HRCP joins civil society and all pro-democracy elements in mourning this sad development. It must at the same time make it clear that the army’s role must end with the closure of this most unsavoury chapter in Pakistan’s history and normal functioning of the elected government resumed. The government must continue to strive to end the stand-off while avoiding the use of force against participants of the sit-ins as long as they remain peaceful. The parliament must continue efforts to ensure that the expression of the will of the people is protected and not squandered in the face of threats and abuse by people with questionable agendas. Calculating the damage done by this condemnable trap to ensnare democratic dispensation is the unpleasant task that the civil society should now contend with.”
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