Pro-democracy protest: Protestors threaten civilian unrest if govt toppled

PPP, members of civil society protest against the army, judiciary.

Express January 12, 2012

LAHORE: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Civil Society Network and Center for Peace protested against the judiciary and army on Thursday, warning the two institutions of civilian unrest if they tried to topple the PPP led coalition government.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Abdullah Malik, advisor to the Punjab governor, said that “The participants sensing the current democratic to be in danger have decided to come out on the roads to show their solidarity with the democracy.”

He added that only people had the right to change the government through their vote in a democracy and not the judge or the generals.

PPP members along with prominent representatives of civil society demonstrated in favour of the current democratic government at the Liberty roundabout.

Participants warned the judiciary and army that if it tried to topple the PPP led coalition government by using the Memogate affair as an excuse, then the civil society will protest on the streets.

Civil Society Network and Center for Peace members, including IA Rehman, Hussain Naqi, Shah Taj Qizilbash, Abdullah Malik along with South Asia Free Media Association's (SAFMA) Anjum Rashid, Imtiazul Haq, Shoaib Adil and Amina Malik participated in the demonstration.

Other PPP members at the protest included Deputy Parliamentary Leader in the Punjab Assembly, Azma Bukhari and Altaf Qureshi.

The participants also lauded the independent media and vowed that the informed people of the country would foil any attempt to topple the incumbent government. They said that the civil society believed in the supremacy of the parliament and would resist any conspiracy hatched against democracy.

Relations between the government and military have been stressed following the revelation of the Memogate scandal. The most recent evidence of this came to fore after Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, in an interview to the Chinese daily Peoples Daily Online deemed replies by the Chief of Army Staff and Director General Inter-Services Intelligence to the Supreme Court in the Memogate case as unconstitutional. The military responded to it by releasing a statement saying that the statement would have 'potential grievous consequences' for the country.


Solomon2 | 11 years ago | Reply

"They said that the civil society believed in the supremacy of the parliament and would resist any conspiracy hatched against democracy."

Democracy needs checks-and-balances so no branch of government can exercise tyranny. Parliamentary governments with the Queen of England as head-of-state are at least anchored by tradition plus the bit of power the monarch and her governor-generals still wield - that of unlimited review of the bureaucracy and parliamentary decisions.

What does Pakistan have by comparison? The PPP was established as a vehicle to power by Z.A.B. and once in power he ignored his promises as much as possible in pursuit of glory. Venality seems to be the prime motivation of his opportunistic successors. Neither glory nor venality serve Pakistanis very well, do they? Yet who in the PPP publicly vows to change this in favor of honorable conduct, transparency, and accountability?

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