The following signed statement was received from the SDF (Sindh Democratic Forum) via the HRCP and calls on everyone to unite when rallying for a democratic Pakistan peacefully:
The members of Sindh Democratic Forum (SDF) have expressed their deep shock and strong condemnation at the imposition of Martial Law in the country. It is a great embarrassment for the people of Pakistan that in the 21st century a chief of army staff can suspend the constitution, put the judges of higher judiciary behind bars, including the chief justice of Pakistan, suspend theÃ‚Â fundamental human rights, clamp censor on media by blocking all news channels and arrest lawyers, political workers and civil society activists on a massive scale. That this is all done only to save the skin of general Musharrafs illegal and unconstitutional army rule only adds to the sum of shame of the people of Pakistan.
While the democratic and progressive societies of the world are marching towards peace, prosperity and intellectual pursuits, the people of Pakistan are mired in the rule of army generals whose total aim is to maintain their self and privileges even if the cost be the integrity and security of the country and its people. The generals of Pakistan army have time and again proven their gross ineptitude in the handling of the affairs of the state. The breakup of the country in 1971 was the biggest example of this ineptitude. Rise in extremism, civil war in NWFP and Balochistan, unrest in Sindh and Punjab further add to this perception. Military centric foreign policy has isolated the country in the region and increased the hostility towards Pakistan among its neighbouring countries.
The Pakistani people must salute those brave judges of the higher judiciary who refused to be part of the sham and crime of emergency. The judges who took oath under the PCO and revived the spirit of Justice Muneer by overturning the judgment given by 7 judges of the Supreme Court against Musharrafs emergency in the country shall forever face the condemnation and wrath of the people of Pakistan.
SDF demands that general Musharraf and his hangers on in military and civil administration should immediately lift martial law, restore fundamental rights, reinstate the judiciary, release all prisoners, and announce the schedule of general elections. It is our belief that the integrity of federation of Pakistan cannot withstand army rule in further and very great harm to the whole society and polity is imminent.
It is time that all the people of our country should standup as one man and throw away the authoritarian rule of generals and laws of necessity so that our country could progress towards democratic path towards rule of law and constitutionalism.
Signatories: Abrar Kazi (convener), Zulfiqar Halepoto (secretary), Muhammad Ibrahim Joyo, Nazeer Memon, Dr Nazir Shaikh, Aslam Balouch, A. A Qureshi and other SDF members.