Monday, November 03, 2008

Musharraf's "Emergency" - One Year Later

(Cross-posted from SAJAforum)

REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood: Pakistan's deposed Chief Justice Iftikar Chaudhry (C) addresses a lawyers' convention on the first anniversary of the imposition of emergency rule by then president Pervez Musharraf in Rawalpindi, November 3, 2008.One year ago today, Pakistan's former President and Chief of Army Staff Pervez Musharraf imposed an extraconstitutional "state of emergency," which his critics described as a full-scale, martial law crackdown. To refresh your recollections, have a look at last year's SAJAforum posts on both the imposition of emergency rule itself and the world's reactions.

Musharraf himself is now gone from the political scene, having resigned in August, but the legacy of his Emergency is being remembered today in Pakistan and around the world.

Amnesty International's Asia-Pacific Director, Sam Zarifi, laments that one year later, Pakistan "is still suffering from the abusive policies [Musharraf] put in place" during last year's crackdown:

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. [link]

In Pakistan, lawyers and others have marked the occasion with protests. Lawyers have rallied across the country, calling on new President Asif Ali Zardari's government to fully roll back all of Musharraf's extraconstitutional measures, including his removal of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry:

Continue reading at SAJAforum....

Posted by Anil Kalhan