Friday, December 28, 2007

What choices do we have?

Guest Blog by Naeem Sadiq
posted on the People’s Resistance Network

One hopes that we have finally realised on a day as sad as this one, that the violence of the state and of fundamentalists can only take us to darker destinations. Never before have I witnessed such intense pain and sorrow, shared so much across the entire country as I saw on the evening of that fateful Thursday, when Benazir bade her final farewell. Moments of trial for a nation whose helpless citizens in a state of grief and distress feel utterly confused, uncertain and anxious about what might happen next.

Pakistan today stands at crossroads where it must choose between a civilised, peaceful, progressive and democratic path or disintegrate under an illegitimate , one person dictatorial rule. The choices are limited and the time is short. There may be one last opportunity to make amends and change the course of events. Perhaps a set of demands such as the ones listed below may help to unify the shattered people and provide a new roadmap for the future.

1. Musharraf must resign and be made accountable for constitutional violations before a court of law.

2. The 1973 constitution as it stood on 12 October 1999 be restored.

3. The pre November 3 judiciary must be restored and all PCO judges removed.

4. A new neutral and caretaker government and an independent election commission be appointed to hold elections within 3 months.

Clearly this could happen only if these demands are backed by political parties as well as a large segment of civil society. Now is the time to close ranks, regardless of political affiliations and ideologies. A time to choose a peaceful and democratic future, and say goodbye to the politics of violence. The future of Pakistan may well hinge on an unequivocal expression of this choice.