Tuesday, October 4, 2022

HRW urges Pakistan’s government to follow democratic processes

Human Rights Watch (HRW) stated Pakistan’s leadership must respect the constitution and allow peaceful voting on the no-confidence vote.

In a statement, HRW Associate Asia Director Patricia Gossman said both sides should send a “clear message” to supporters not to undermine the democratic process or affect votes through intimidation or other criminal conduct.

On March 8, the opposition tabled a no-confidence resolution in Prime Minister Imran Khan. The National Assembly is due to vote on the no-trust motion on March 28.

Officials responded by threatening violence and briefly detaining two MPs.

Read more: Reach Islamabad to demonstrate your support for the truth: PM Imran Khan

On March 10, Islamabad police raided the Parliament Lodges, arresting two JUI-F MPs and several opposition activists.

The JUI-F volunteers allegedly broke into the apartments without permission. They were all freed in hours.

Federal Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan then threatened to “suicide attack” the opposition. Those who vote against PM Imran Khan’s PTI party would be photographed and displayed throughout cities, according to Shahbaz Gill, the PM’s special assistant.

Read more: ‘We shall put them in a cage like birds,’ says Chaudhry Fawad

To vote against Khan, one must “pass through these people on their way in and out of the Parliament building,” according to Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry.

A potential violent conflict was set in motion when the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) called on its own followers to come to Islamabad.

“Pakistan’s democratic institutions face a new threat,” warned HRW’s Gossman.

Abolishing parliamentary voting threatens to undermine an institution important to representative government and the rule of law, she said.

Read more: Ahead of Pakistan Day, ISPR publishes “Shad Rahay Pakistan” as a new national anthem

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