The Express Tribune blogs, one of Pakistan’s leading English daily newspapers, picked up one of my articles in defense of former President Musharraf. Here’s an excerpt:
“Why isn’t anyone talking about Nawaz Sharif and his version of the Patriot Act for Pakistan, the Protection of Pakistan bill?
As per the guidelines of this bill, anyone who is involved in any anti-state behaviour, which is not clearly defined, can be arrested and detained indefinitely without any access to courts, family or rights. Are we suggesting that Pakistan has its own Gitmo (Guantanamo) for those who the government of the day feels are not within the norms of our society as deemed by them? Are we going to witness blanket arrests of those who protest for lower prices, a better economy, more effective governance and policing or anything else that affects the common man?
Not knowing the guidelines of what is considered ‘anti-state’ makes this bill a tool for imprisoning those who the state disagrees with. Interestingly, the Protection of Pakistan bill is not being implemented against the TTP, who are claiming to be involved and responsible for anti-state activities. They are being brought to the negotiating table to redress their grievances.
So is what is the point of a bill like this, other than being another attempt to placate the public into believing that the state is working for their safety? Yet, no one is raising their voice, no court is questioning the validity or the constitutionality of this bill. Is it true, that in a democratic setup, Pakistanis are willing to allow for much more ‘gamesmanship’ than they would under a military one? It seems so doesn’t it?”
Read the whole post here.