News Release

Pakistan: What Musharraf Stole

ALI AHSAN
The Chicago Tribune notes in a profile published Wednesday that leading dissident Aitzaz Ahsan, president of the Supreme Court Bar Association, was the first person jailed when Musharraf declared a state of emergency on Nov. 3 and remains under house arrest. See “Musharraf not among lawyer’s many fans.”

Aitzaz’s son, Ali Ahsan, also a lawyer, is in the U.S. until Wednesday. He said today: “Musharraf’s military coup was designed to fulfill certain objectives, and having fulfilled them, he’s now moving to ease some of the emergency restrictions. Some in Western capitals may be singing Kumbaya, but this is like a robber having left the scene of a crime; you don’t exonerate him and pretend everything is fine — you look at what he stole.

“Musharraf ousted most of the Supreme Court — those members continue to be detained. The upcoming elections are being set up to be a sham because they are devoid of the rule of law. The rule of law doesn’t come from elections, it has to be the basis for any meaningful election — and that’s exactly what Musharraf has stolen from the Pakistani people, with substantial outside cooperation.”

ANITA WEISS
Just back from Pakistan, Weiss is co-editor of the book Power and Civil Society in Pakistan and professor of international studies at the University of Oregon. She said today: “After promising to do so for many years, Pervez Musharraf has resigned his military commission and installed General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani as Chief of the Army Staff. He took the oath as president as a civilian Thursday, though as such he retains the power to continue or lift the emergency. …

“Musharraf last week claimed to the BBC that he did not ‘go mad’nor become a ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,’ though his actions in abrogating theliberal, parliamentary solutions he has championed since seizing power in October 1999 in the name of ‘enlightened moderation’ certainly don’t sustain his arguments.”
More Information

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167.