On 12 March 2009 there was a demonstration outside the UN Human Rights Council which was attended by people of Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit and Baltistan, Sind, Balochistan, Frontier Province NWFP (name prescribed for NWFP Pakhtoon Khawa) and Punjab. The demonstration was organised by Sardar Shaukat Kashmiri and was a big demonstration according to standards of Geneva.
Among those who spoke on this occasion included Senator Sana Ullah Baloch, Munawar Laghari, Col Wajhat Mirza, Nader Mirza, Shaukat Kashmiri, Mumtaz Khan, Nasir Aziz, Abbas Butt, Dr Shabir Choudhry etc.
A summary of Dr Shabir Choudhry’s speech is as follows:
‘Fiends and colleagues, right to assemble and right of expression is a fundamental human right. How unfortunate that in Islamic Republic of Pakistan these rights are curbed by the authorities which claim to be democratic and which claim to respect rule of law’.
‘We are fortunate that we live in Europe where these rights are respected and we can freely assemble to express our views. And today we are here outside the UN Human Rights Commission to show our solidarity with the people of Pakistan who have campaigned for restoration of independent judiciary, accountability and rule of law’.
‘We want to tell people of Pakistan that we stand with them in this hour of need. We support you fully in your struggle for rule of law and fundamental rights. Our sympathies and prayers are with you. You deserve to have an independent judiciary, you deserve to live with dignity and honour, you deserve to have democracy and rule of law; and your struggle will be successful’.
‘But you cannot expect to have democracy who are allies of undemocratic regimes, and those who are product of secret deals with dictators. You cannot expect to have rule of law and accountability from those who are product of corruption and who have a track record of intimidating and undermining the judicial system.’
‘You cannot expect peace and stability from those who have policy of promoting communalism, extremism and hatred. Their policy is to divide and rule. They want to promote extremism in name of jihad which is tearing the Pakistani society apart. On one hand they are part of the war on terrorism and on the other hand they are secretly supporting those who are promoting terrorism’.
‘We want to show our solidarity with all oppressed people of Pakistan, whether they are in Balochistan, Sind, Frontier Province, Punjab or FATA. We also want to speak in support of people of Gilgit and Baltistan and Pakistani Administered Kashmir, where people are also denied of their fundamental human rights’.
‘Pakistan has been ruled by elite who have been advancing policy of communalism, extremism and hatred. This policy of unwise elite has created many problems for us Kashmiris and we continue to suffer due to that policy. This policy not only created many problems for Pakistan’s neighbours but also landed Pakistan in very serious problems which threaten very existence of Pakistan’.
‘Those who expect that the ruling elite of Pakistan could bring peace, stability and prosperity to Pakistan and could help in fight against extremism and hatred are totally wrong, because in view of many experts the ruling elite is part of the problem and not part of solution. They want to perpetuate their rule at all costs. Peace, stability and prosperity in the country are not their priorities. Elimination of extremism and terrorism is not their goal, because they are using these as tools to advance their political and personal agenda’.
‘Their deals and agreements with extremists in Swat and FATA are not based on sincerity. This is to provide these extremists that they can regroup and reorganise themselves to assert their influence and power in other parts of the country. It is believed that in near future these extremist groups will be playing an important role in FATA and Afghanistan’. END