Price of Army Rule in Pakistan - Freedom
Staff Report: Daily Times, August 12, 2007
LAHORE: Politicians condemned army rule in the country and criticised dictators at a regional conference on ‘Revisiting Sixty years of Freedom’ organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) at a local hotel on Saturday.
Awami National Party leader Haji Muhammd Adeel said the 60 years after Pakistan’s creation were full of bitter realities, as the army had ruled the country for more than half of the period.
He said, “In Ayub Khan’s regime Bloach leaders were hanged to death, and under Musharraf’s rule, numerous tragic incidents, full of bloodshed, took place in tribal areas.” Adeel said the army housing societies were a question mark for the people who took part in the freedom movement, adding that after getting freedom from the Britain, another slavery was foisted on the nation in the shape of dictatorship.
Speaking on the occasion, Awami Thereek leader Rasool Bux Palejo quoted the Quaid-e-Azam as saying that an army had no right to rule a country. He said the army rulers had followed American policies, as the US had used Pakistan for its own interests by imposing martial law in Pakistan.
Palejo said, “Bengal’s partition was also signalled by the US, as Bengalis would hinder the implementation of American policies.”
Pakistan Muslim league-Nawaz (PML-N) central general secretary Ahsan Iqbal said the army rulers had deprived the nation of real freedom.
He said the Quaid-e-Azam, with his boarder vision, struggled for a democratic state. The PML-N leader urged politicians to work for the democracy. He said after March 9 incidents, a new Pakistan had emerged and people would show their power through votes. Referring to the last month all parties’ conference in London, he said the political leaders had promised that they would not compromise with the army ruler.
Pakhtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PKMAP) leader Senator Raza Muhammd Raza said martial laws were responsible for the Dhaka down fall.
“The current situation in the country enforces people to think that Bacha Khan was right in opposing Pakistan’s creation,” he added. He blamed Punjabis for supporting army rulers, adding that the army’s wrong policies had triggered religious extremism in the country.
“Army rulers introduced new ways of corruption by privatisation,” said Labour Party leader Farooq Tariq, adding that General Ziaul Haq was responsible for the religious extremism.
National Workers Party leader Abid Hussain Manto said people were confronting same situation as they had been before the partition. He said most of the rulers were feudal and army generals, least concerned with peoples’ problems.
He said people were demanding democracy and they would get it only by force as the Nepalians did.
Earlier, in the inauguration of the conference, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Director IA Rehman said the freedom war of 1857 was a war between two cultures.
He said superior culture always wanted to kill inferior culture by dominating its recourses. Democracy was need of the time, he added.
Peoples from various organisations and reporters attended the conference.