Civil society terms memogate scandal an attempt to thwart democracy; Says threatening the representative system tantamount to attack on sovereignty of people.
Karachi, Sindh – 17 December 2011: We, the representatives of the Civil Society including non governmental organisations, labour organisations, academia, women’s rights bodies, and media persons express deep concern over the current political situation in the country where a crisis is being manufactured on frivolous grounds, and is being referred as the so-called Memogate. This has the potential of subverting democratically elected Parliament and the Constitution.
It is time all conspirators against democracy and the sovereignty of the people be called to account. Sovereignty belongs to the people who have agreed to exercise it through their representatives in a federal, parliamentary, and a democratic system. Any attempt at arbitrarily altering this arrangement is tantamount to an attack on the sovereignty of the people. Various institutions of the state are supposed to function within their defined constitutional parameters and complement each other but they seem to be working at cross-purposes, to the determent of public interest.
We emphasise that the role of political parties and political leaders is to represent their constituents’ interests and arrive at negotiated agreements to differences in agreed political forums.
The role of state’s security organizations is to serve the people through stipulated constitutional arrangements, under the command of the executive, and not to define what is or is not in the national interest.
The role of the judiciary is to protect the rights of the citizens from arbitrary abuse of executive power, and not to itself become a source of arbitrary executive power.
The role of the mass media is to help citizens hold powerful interests groups within and outside the state to promote their legitimate interests and hold violators of rights accountable, and not to itself act as an unaccountable interest group.
In our opinion, parliament is the appropriate forum to discuss and investigate this issue and come up with findings.
We believe that any attack on the sovereignty of the people will be unjust. It will necessarily lead to conflict and must be resisted.
We appeal to the people of Pakistan to stand united and firm in support of democracy and to resist all attempts aimed at its subversion. The people of Pakistan have made great many sacrifices for the cause of democracy and they should not let any vested interests trample their right to have a democratic and an elected representative system run the country.
1. Karamat Ali, Executive Director, Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research,
2. B. M Kutty, Secretary, Pakistan Peace Coalition ,
3. Dr. Kaisar Bengali, Senior Economist,
4. Dr Haroon Ahmed, President Pakistan Mental Health Association
5. Haris Gazdar, Independent Economist
6. Dr. Aly Ercelan, Senior Development Economist
7. Tasneem Ahmed Siddiqui, Chairman, Saiban, Former Chief Secretary Sindh,
8. Farooq Tariq, Spokes Persons Labour Party Pakistan,
9. Arif Hassan, Architect, Urban Planner,
10. Dr. Badar Siddiqui, Ex-President, Pakistan Medical Association,
11. Prof. Arfana Mallah, President Sindh University Teachers Association,
12. Nazim F Haji, industrialist, Former Chief Citizens Police Liaison Committee,
13. Dr. Jaffar Ahmed, Irtiqa Institute of Social Science,
14. Mohammd Tahseen, Executive Director, South Asia Partnership Pakistan,
15. Mohammad Ali Shah, Chairperson Pakistan Fisher folk Forum (PFF)
16. Dr. Abid Qayoum Suleri, Executive Director Sustainable Development Policy Institute
17. Naseer Memon, Chief Executive, Strengthening Participatory Organization, SPO,
18. Jami Chandio, Executive Director, Centre for Peace and Civil Society,
19. Samina Khan, Executive Director Sungi Development Foundation
20. Mehnaz Rehman, Regional Director Aurat Foundation,
21. Zulfiqar Halepoto, Sindh Democratic Forum,
22. Abrar Qazi, Awami President Awami Jamhori Party,
23. Zulfiqar Shah, Institute for Social Movements Pakistan,
24. Jaffar Memon, We Journalists,
25. Ishaq Mangrio, Independent Journalist,
26. Ghulam Fatima, Executive Member BLLF,
27. Punhal Saryo, President Sindh Hari Porhiat Council,
28. Arshad Mehmood, Executive Director Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child
29. Qamar Hayat, Executive Director Sahara Development Foundation,
30. Sheema Kermani, Tahreek –e- Niswan,
31. Harris Khalique, Development Consultant,
32. Sheen Farukh, Inter Press Communications,
33. Lateef Mughal, General Secretary, Peoples Workers Union KESC
34. Aziz Abbasi, President Watan Dost mazdoor federeration
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