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> Citizens Group on Electoral Process & Dialogue Group on Civil-Military Relations: Statement Issued on Saturday November 17, 2007
   
 
Joint Meeting
November 17, 2007
Hotel Serena, Islamabad

   

In view of the unconstitutional proclamation of the state of Emergency, suspension of the Constitution and imposition of a Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) in Pakistan on November 3, 2007 and their wider impact on society due to the seizure of basic civil liberties, the assault on the independence of the judiciary, widespread detention and arrests of lawyers, civil society representatives, students and political party workers as well as restrictions on print and electronic media.

 
 

We, the members of civil society as represented at this joint forum of the Citizensí Group on the Electoral Process (CGEP) and the Dialogue Group on Civil-Military Relations, facilitated by PILDAT, strongly denounce this imposition of Emergency in the country and remind all those who are participating directly or indirectly in making and executing decisions that they are, and will remain, accountable to the people of Pakistan through the Courts of Law for their acts of Commission and Omission.

 
 

We firmly believe that free, fair and credible elections can only be held if:

 
 

  1. State of Emergency is lifted, the PCO is withdrawn and the Constitution is restored;

  2. All Judges of the Superior Courts, who have been removed under the PCO, are reinstated;

  3. The PEMRA Amendment Ordinance 2007 is repealed and all restrictions on print and electronic media are lifted. We appreciate all members of the media who stood up to the government pressure. We especially demand the immediate restoration of all Geo TV channels and ARY One World;

  4. A truly non-partisan and empowered caretaker government is appointed which is acceptable both to the ruling and opposition parties;

  5. General Pervez Musharraf unconditionally and immediately retires from the position of the Chief of Army Staff and has no authority to interfere with the Caretaker Government in the conduct of elections;

  6. The Election Commission is reconstituted to empower it and make it independent with the consensus of all major political parties of Pakistan;

  7. All political parties are given equal opportunity to reach people and explain their programme and point of view and their leaders are allowed to return to Pakistan and fully participate in the electoral and political process as citizens of Pakistan;

 
 

In order to achieve the above objectives, we call upon the political parties and the civil society of Pakistan to unite in their efforts to ensure the Rule of Law, Restoration of Democracy and Independence of Judiciary and the Media.

 
 

The members who endorsed the statement include: Justice (Retd.) Saeed uz Zaman Siddiqui, Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Ali Kuli Khan, Mr. Arif Nizami, Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Asad Durrani, Mr. Ghazi Salahuddin, Dr. Hasan-Askari Rizvi, Dr. Ijaz S. Gilani, Dr. Imran Ali, Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Jamshed Gulzar Kiyani, Mr. Javed Jabbar, Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Moinuddin Haider, Mr. Mujib-ur-Rehman Shami, Dr. Parvez Hassan, Justice (Retd.) Nasira Iqbal, Mr. Rahimullah Yusufzai, Mr. Rustam Shah Mohmand, Mr. Sartaj Aziz, Mr. Shafqat Mahmood, Brig. (Retd.) Shaukat Qadir, Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Talat Masood, Mr. Tasneem Noorani, Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob and Ms. Aasiya Riaz.