South Asia Democracy Watch (SADeW), Dallas, U.S.
Contact: Dr. Qaisar Abbas (906-281-7771, email@example.com)
(April 28, Dallas, U.S.) The U.S. based South Asia Democracy Watch (SADeW) has strongly criticized the recent Supreme Court verdict in Pakistan, sentencing the sitting Prime Minister, identifying it as an attempt to derail the current democratic process in the country as part of the institutional power struggle.
The statement issued after the group’s meeting in Dallas last Saturday categorically articulated its position that the party in power should be allowed to complete its current term for the first time in the history of Pakistan which is an important step to strengthen the democratic process.
Realizing that corruption of all sorts is a serious menace to democracy and it should be investigated, the verdict, however, has been viewed by SADeW as an attempt of the judiciary to cross its boundaries of checks and balances. “South Asia as a region is witnessing a strong surge in strengthening democracy from Nepal to Bangladesh to Maldives and Sri Lanka and this positive development strongly supported by the masses should not be stalled,” the statement strongly reiterated.
The nonprofit organization, representing known intellectuals, scholars, legal experts, journalists, political activists and community leaders, has announced that the verdict, limiting the credibility of the Prime Minister has severely jeopardized his role in resolving regional and international issues including terrorism, Kashmir, peace negotiations with India and relations with the United States and Afghanistan.
The statement, endorsed by the group representatives, Syed Fyyaz Hasan (political activist), Tausif Kamal (attorney), Dr. Qaisar Abbas (scholar and educationist), Raja Muzaffar (politician) and Zahid Akhtar Khanzada (journalist) appealed the people of Pakistan, political parties, intellectuals and media to oppose any attempt to disrupt the democratic process in Pakistan. It has also formed a committee of legal experts to analyze the legal aspects of the verdict and submit a report headed by the known attorney Tausif Kamal.
SADeW viewed Prime Minister Gilani as a victim of the institutional struggle between the executive, legislature, judiciary, and most importantly the army within the historical contexts in which the judiciary has been widely manipulated by the army and politicians in the past. With this backdrop, SADeW considered this verdict as an attempt of the judiciary to regain its lost credibility in Pakistan.