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
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
"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.