Pak`s leaders slam MQM chief`s remark on politicians
Last Updated: Tuesday, August 24, 2010, 16:23
Lahore: All major political parties and the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan have slammed Muttahida Quami Movement chief Altaf Hussain's demand for army general to take any "martial law-like action" against corrupt politicians and feudal lords.

Former premier and PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif blasted Hussain, saying that he has been acting on an agenda of "breaking up Pakistan".

He said a treason case could be instituted against Hussain for inviting the military to act against politicians. The MQM would become a "B-team" of a dictator as in the past, he said.

Senior Pakistan People's Party leader and Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira described the statement as being tantamount to a deviation from the Constitution. He said the PPP was very concerned about Hussain's controversial statement.

The PPP and MQM are coalition partners in both the centre and Sindh province, and PPP leaders have largely been muted in their criticism of Hussain.

The HRCP said in a statement: "It is a poor reflection on the nation's adherence to democratic norms when one of the main political parties starts pleading not with parliament, or with the people, but with 'patriotic army generals' to act against politicians.

"There may be many complaints against politicians and the democratically elected government of Pakistan. Some of them may be justified as well. But there are also many ways of dealing with these complaints, and a return to military rule is certainly not one of them."

Rights activists and civil society groups said the matters referred to by Hussain could be raised in parliament and dealt with in a democratic manner.

"One fails to see the hurdle in following such a course when the party in question is part of the ruling coalition in Sindh and at the centre," the HRCP said.

Civil society groups and political leaders also said experience had demonstrated that army takeovers were rationalized on the pretext of eliminating corruption but they only aggravated the state of affairs.

The army should indeed be complimented on playing an active role in flood relief efforts as much as any individual or organization should be for doing their job, they said.

Pakistan cannot afford another hiatus in the democratic process, they added.


First Published: Tuesday, August 24, 2010, 16:23

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