TORONTO: A “Forum for Democracy in Pakistan” condemned human rights abuse in Pakistan and held a protest rally here in front of Parliament Building, Queens Park to mark the International Human Rights Day. The participants were carrying the placards and chanting slogans against the ongoing human rights abuses in Pakistan. The rally was attended by people from different walks of life, demanding end to human rights violations, military rule in Pakistan, restoration of judiciary and release of all detainees.
Mumtaz Khan, Vice Chairman IKA, Tariq Amin, Dr.Zafar Baluch, Imtiaz Ahmed, Humaira Rehman and Annie Haider addressed the rally. The speakers condemned the detention of judges, lawyers, civil society members, suspension of constitution and imposition of emergency in Pakistan. They warned the Western countries and the US in particular to stop supporting the military rule in Pakistan. Pakistan, they feared, is just inches away to be declared as a failed state and this fear would increase if US has not given up supporting military rule.The Washington’s current policy on Pakistan would fuel the flames of extremism and terrorism, and ultimately would destabilize the country further, they opined.
They speakers further said that the upcoming elections in Pakistan would be a futile exercise as there has never been real democracy in Pakistan since its inception, and neither military would ever allow genuine democracy to function or flourish in Pakistan.They said that there is a great concern among the Canadian citizens of Pakistani origin over the deplorable human rights situation in their home country where freedom of expression, right of assembly, and right to life and dignity are rare.
They further said that the upcoming elections are nothing more than the change of face who will be brought to serve military interests whether it be Benazir Bhutto or anyone lese. They said that it is unfortunate that Pakistan since its inception has been under military rule while people have been told that country is being created to secure the future of Indian Muslims.
Participants were carrying different placards with various slogans, calling for restoration of judiciary, respect to the human rights, release the lawyers and judges, and stop operation in Balochistan, free missing people in Balochistan, Sindh and Azad Kashmir, grant rights to the people of Gilgit and Baltistan. Later, a memorandum was presented to the Ontario Parliament with above mentioned demands.-SANA