South Asia Democracy Watch Deplores “Judicial Coup” in Pakistan

South Asia Democracy Watch Deplores “Judicial Coup” in Pakistan

English: This is the Coat of arms of Supreme C...

South Asia Democracy Watch (SADeW), a U.S. based group that reviews and updates democratic trends and in South Asia, has severely criticized the Pakistan Supreme Court’s recent disqualification of the sitting prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani.

A news release of the group, calling the decision as a “judicial coup” in Pakistan, deplores the verdict as an attempt to derail democracy and an effort to create political turmoil for the ruling coalition in power who is about to complete its five-year term for the first time in the nation’s political history.

In the past the democratic process has been regularly disrupted by the army but surprisingly this time it is the Supreme Court that has fired the elected prime minister for no good reasons but personal ego as part of the unnecessary power struggle between the executive and judiciary, the news release observed.

Noting that the decision has widely been criticized by the world leaders, scholars and journalists, the group expressed its serious doubts on the validity and moral justification for ousting an elected prime minister not by the legislature, but a biased judiciary.

For the influential advocacy group, demands of the opposition political parties in Pakistan to hold early elections are short sighted and uncalled for. Any demand to oust the current government should come from the elected parliament and not from the parties protesting on the street. All traditions, legalities, and parliamentary traditions should be observed in proposing any change in the current political set up in Pakistan.

Viewing the Supreme Court’s verdict within the context of South Asia, the group also noticed that democracy is taking roots everywhere in the region and the trend should be continued to ensure stability, peace and progress of the people of South Asia.

Community leaders from all walk of life including political scientists, intellectuals, scholars, media personnel, and political activists in the group applauded the political parties in the ruling coalition for a well thought out and  deliberated response to the judicial verdict following democratic norms in the country and continuing the political process smoothly.

The SADeW statement was endorsed by prominent community leaders including Dr. Qaisar Abbas, Syed Fyyaz Hasan,  Aftab Siddiqui, Tausif Kamal, Zahid Akhtar Khanzada, Raja Muzaffar and others.

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Masood Raja

Originally from Pakistan, Dr. Masood Ashraf Raja is an Associate Professor of Postcolonial Literature and Theory at the University of North Texas and the author of "The Religious Right and the Talibanization of America" (Palgrave, 2016).