BY: Farooq Tariq
Labour Party Pakistan rejects the claim of general Musharaf that
emergency is been lifted on 15th December. It is lifted with constitution
amended with all the repressive measures protected by a decree.
General Musharaf actions within 42 days of emergency
can not be challenged by any court and it does have to be ratified
by two third majorities by the future parliament.
This is just a farce. We condemn this dictatorial maneuvering
and ask working class of Pakistan and internationally to continue
its struggle till the overthrow of General Musharaf.
The lifting of emergency is littered with over 10,000 arrests
of lawyers, political activists and students. Many thousands were
forced to stay away from their houses under the threat of being
arrested. Many hundreds were brutally beaten up and hundreds were
injured. Top judges and advocate leaders are still in detentions.
The main aim of the emergency was to get rid of independent judiciary.
That mission is accomplished with new hand picked judges installed
at the Supreme Court and High Courts. All these repressive, dictatorial,
undemocratic, brutal and unjustified action of general Musharaf
from 3rd November is been legalized.
The real name of emergency was martial law; a rule imposed by
the military commander in chief can only be described as martial
law. No demonstrations were allowed. All the electronic and print
media was put under watch and several were closed down completely.
The private televisions channels were off the air for a month
and GEO, the most popular private television channel, is still
off the air till today.
The emergency was not a bumper on the road to democracy but a
wall erected to stop the path to democracy. The wall is still
The calling of elections under the emergency rule was another
political maneuver to dodge the international growing opposition
to military rule. The general elections on 8th January with all
the repressive measure protected by amended constitution does
not give an equal opportunity to all those interested in elections.
The elections under the new care takers government from the same
Musharaf supporters and hand picked judiciary and Election Commission
will not be fair and free.
The boycott of these elections is the only option left for genuine
opposition to General Musharaf. The boycott response of 25 political
parties to the call of Pakistan Bar Council is the right strategy
to further the struggle for restoration of democracy and independence
of judiciary. Without the restoration of the judges who refused
to take oath under PCO, there could be no guarantee for free and
fair general elections.
Labour Party Pakistan will fight along other political parties
and civil society organization for an immediate end of general
Musharaf rule. Its candidates for national and provincial assemblies
have taken back the nomination papers.