Saturday, December 15, 2007

Lifting of Emergency not enough: Human Rights Watch

(Courtesy DAWN)
The US-based Human Rights Watch said Saturday that President Pervez Musharraf's end to the state of emergency in Pakistan would not restore real constitutional rule as it “provides legal cover to laws that muzzle the media and lawyers and gives the army a license to abuse.” Ali Dayan Hasan of HRW said in a statement: “a genuine restoration of Pakistan's constitution would require Musharraf to return to the constitution and judiciary that existed before November 3.” The HRW pointed to a series of decrees issued under emergency rule, including a ban on any later challenges to the legality of the emergency and an amendment to allow the military to try civilians. “The military is Pakistan's principal human rights abuser, yet Musharraf has changed the law so that it can play judge, jury and executioner,” Hasan said. HRW said the United States and Britain should speak up against the president, a key ally in the US-led “war on terror”. “Instead of playing along with Musharraf's power-grab, they should condemn his latest ploy for legitimacy,” the group said.

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