It is being reported that Lawyer Ali Ahmed Kurd in Peshawar and Justice Tariq Mehmood in Quetta have been released from their house arrest which has lasted for around three months imposed by the Pakistani Government. Caretaker Information Minister Nisar Memon said the moves were aimed at creating a good atmosphere during this month’s parliamentary elections. “We want to keep the peace and order before elections and maintain a conducive environment so that people could effectively use their right to vote,” Memon said. IHT
But he said that Chaudhry and other judges would not released from house arrest. “Their movements have been restricted for their own security otherwise they are free men,” he said. “They are issuing statements and write letters.” – truly brilliant Mr. Memon, free men to write letters [I think he suggests the letter that was written by the CJP and ‘smuggled out’ of the house by CJP’s daughter amongst her books] yes let me hear that again free men to write letters but not to move around – GEEZ who are we trying to fool here
We definitely celebrate the release of the two leading figurehead icons Ali Kurd and J. Tariq Mehmood but wonder why does Musharraf have to play these game of charades with us. It is definitely an attempt to reduce the pressure exerted by the American which has recently suggested to Musharraf to correct some grave technical issues before running into the self proclaimed free and fair elections.
It is also shocking that the super power of the world [United States of America], the upholder and enforcer of democracy through out the world, is ready to accept the rigged elections, its definitely a shocking statement to make, which was mentioned in more of a casual statement without much details to the press, one can only imagine what might actually be brewing up inside to force the US government to publicly accept a sham democracy on Feb 18. I can only speculate a horrendously rigged elections comparable to the 98% voter turnout in the referendum of 2002 where the election commission of Pakistan showed a 71.5% voter turnout with a 97% vote in favor of Musharraf. If this is the type of elections we hope to achieve then so help us God
An extract from the article on Musharraf’s 2002 referendum published by Newsline back in May 2002
As per the 1998 census, there were then 61.2 million people 18 years of age and above in the country, a number estimated to have increased to 61.9 million at present. A total of 87,074 polling stations and 163,641 additional polling booths were set up across the country and 414,356 public sector employees appointed to carry out electoral duties on polling day. The entire country was designated one constituency and all citizens aged 18 and above were deemed eligible to vote by establishing their identity through any reasonable means. “A total of 43,907,950 votes were polled, out of which 42,804,030 were in the affirmative, while the rest – 833,676 – said ‘no’. These numbers translate into a 71 per cent voter turnout – the highest in the history of Pakistan,” announced Chief Election Commissioner, Justice (Retd) Irshad Hasan Khan.
So if this is the sham elections we are going to have to swallow then I can only suspect its not a step forward but heck its simply another step back for Pakistan. Plans are underway to ensure that these elections result in a hung parliament, something along the lines of what we saw in 2002, a rubber stamping lobby with the inability to do anything. After all Musharraf will still hold all necessary powers to influence his own agenda all over again. I feel its important to send one strong message to the west – Please STOP fiddling in our politics, and stop patronizing this dictator who continues to lead this country into a spiralling nose dive, with him firmly seated as President and controlling all necessary powers we are definitely not going to see any change, let alone dream of proper democracy.