• Sun. May 21st, 2023

Mediators oppose military courts, demand fair probe, elections

LAHORE: Mediators, a conglomerate of politicians, journalists, lawyers, and civil society organisations, have welcomed the National Security Committee’s decision to “resolve all the political issues through dialogue as per democratic norms instead of indulging in confrontation.”

While rejecting the decision to try the civilians under the Army Act or Official Secret Act here Wednesday, they endorsed HRCP’s plea to follow the due process under Article 10-A of the Constitution and in civil courts.

Condemning all forms of violence, vandalism, and hate-mongering, the Mediators called for serious introspection about the rage and massive, passionate indignation of the youth in Punjab and KP. The group called for an independent and credible inquiry into the May 9 mayhem and prosecution of the alleged culprits through a credible judicial process, as well as an investigation into a big security lapse in handling miscreants.

They urged the Chief Justice of Pakistan, the Shehbaz government, and parliament to show understanding and restraint, facilitate the Election Commission of Pakistan in announcing a schedule for the next general elections to all assemblies on the same date, not exceeding the current tenure of assemblies, and ensure free and fair franchise in consultation with all political stakeholders.

The Mediators expressed their concern over new curbs on social media and censorship of electronic media. They demanded the release of all those not involved in violence, women and journalists in particular.

The joint statement was signed by over 150 leading personalities, including Senator Raza Rabbani, Senator Mushahid Hussain, MNA Nafeesa Shah, BNP President and MNA Akhtar Mengal, PKMAP President Mehmood Khan Achakzai, MNA Mohsin Dawar, PPP’s Farhatullah Babar, AWP President Akhtar Hussain, HKM President Farooq Tariq, Dr. Hafeez Paska, Dr. Akmal Hussain, Dr. Pervaiz Tahir, Dr. Kaiser Bengali, former GCU vice-chancellor Hassan Shah, Dr. Nayyar, Prof. Sarfraz, Chairman of the Pakistan Bar Council Hassan Raza Pasha, Akhtar Hussain, member of the judicial commission, Abid Saqi, Sabahat Rizvi, Zahid Hussain, Imtiaz Alam, Safma, Hussain Naqi, Sohail Warraich, Mujeebur Rehman Shami, Talat Hussain, Azhar Abbas, Asma Shirazi, CPNE President Kazim Khan, Jabbar Khattak, PFUJ President Afzal Butt, Nasir Zaidi, Shehzada Zulfikar, Muhammad Waleed, Allama Siddique Azhar, Tanzeela Mazhar SAP’s Mohammed Tehseen, Muhammad Ayub, Khawar Mumtaz, Sheema Kirmani, Irfan Mufti, Peter Jacob, Karamat and others.

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