Truth Speaker: An Interview with a torture victim

Written by Aftab Hassan Khan

Continued from page 1

Why isrepparttar state of human rights so bad in Pakistan?

Forrepparttar 132381 development and protection of human rights, people's participation in decision-making is vital. Where people have no role in governance,repparttar 132382 state of human rights will remain abominable. Also, 'human rights' is not one indicator. Human rights cover a broad range of concerns. Sometimes you may see improvement in one sector and deterioration in another. Onrepparttar 132383 whole,repparttar 132384 main issue in Pakistan is, unlessrepparttar 132385 people get due say in runningrepparttar 132386 affairs ofrepparttar 132387 state,repparttar 132388 condition of human rights cannot be improved.

How do you seerepparttar 132389 future of democracy in Pakistan?

Pakistan doesn't have democracy. We have onlyrepparttar 132390 facade of democracy. Prime Minister or Foreign Minister Kasuri have no say, nor can they exercise power.

Prior to taking over power Musharraf was calling Pakistani democracy a sham democracy. He claimed he wants to bringrepparttar 132391 real one. All Pakistani dictators saidrepparttar 132392 same thing. They think Pakistan needs a democracy which they can guide. Our dictators wants to define democracy in their own way and then support that democracy, which suits them and serves their interests.

I believe that without a genuine workers' democracy, there is no future forrepparttar 132393 working class in Pakistan. The capitalist democracy has not delivered and it failed again and again in Pakistan. Capitalist politicians cannot conceive a democracy withoutrepparttar 132394 support ofrepparttar 132395 military. We think military domination has to end if democracy has to survive in Pakistan.

Does Musharraf have an exit strategy?

No he does not. He thinks if he remains head ofrepparttar 132396 army nobody will throw him out. He fails to remember that army chiefs in Pakistan have not had a very nice life. Yahya Khan went to Ayub and told him, 'Go home sir' and he had to.

General Gul Hasan went to Yahya and said, 'Go home sir,' and he had to. General Zia died and if he was killed it had to be by his own men.

General Asif Nawaz died and again if he was killed it is because his own men wanted a change. Gen Karamat resigned and Musharraf himself was about to be killed in a plane crash.

In Pakistan's history other dictators have usedrepparttar 132397 referendum to remain in power. This is an old trick. General Zia-ul Haq didrepparttar 132398 same. General Ayub didrepparttar 132399 same. By a fraudulent referendum Musharraf declared himself elected. He claimed that onrepparttar 132400 basis ofrepparttar 132401 Supreme Court's verdict he has got powers to amendrepparttar 132402 constitution. Onrepparttar 132403 basis of that dubious law he passed a Legal Framework Order and amendedrepparttar 132404 constitution in August 2002.

The effect of that order is that it virtually rewritesrepparttar 132405 constitution in major areas like parliamentary democracy, federalism in Pakistan, and judiciary and its powers. We are very disturbed. The whole purpose behindrepparttar 132406 exercise was to keep himself in power.

What do you think ofrepparttar 132407 status of women and minorities in Pakistan?

Women in Pakistan are considered half of men legally and traditionally. I am for equal rights for women in all fields. I think thatrepparttar 132408 state has to take dramatic measures to improverepparttar 132409 conditions of women. I demand to repeal all discriminatory laws, which make women half and inferior to men. The religious minorities of Pakistan are subject to all sorts of discriminatory laws. In fact, they are considered second-class citizens. They are normally framed in different cases on religious grounds. They are given inferior jobs like cleaning and so on. They are treated like untouchables. I stand for an immediate repeal of all discriminatory laws, includingrepparttar 132410 blasphemy laws. Religious minorities should be offered special quotas in allrepparttar 132411 jobs created nationally. They should be given special attention inrepparttar 132412 field of education, health and information technology.

What are your comments onrepparttar 132413 rise of fundamentalism, andrepparttar 132414 impact of Taliban's defeat on Pakistan?

The rise of fundamentalism in Pakistan is, in fact, a vote of no-confidence ofrepparttar 132415 working people in capitalist and feudal parties. It isrepparttar 132416 failure of these parties in power, which has given rise to religious fanaticism. Religious fanaticism is an expression of total degeneration ofrepparttar 132417 society into extreme conservative traditions. The rise can also be blamed onrepparttar 132418 narrow immediate interests ofrepparttar 132419 ruling classes and of military regimes in Pakistan.

The defeat ofrepparttar 132420 Taliban in Afghanistan will affectrepparttar 132421 strategies ofrepparttar 132422 military regime in Pakistan in immediate terms. But you cannot kill any ideas by force. I see that in future,repparttar 132423 extreme fanatics might go underground, butrepparttar 132424 serious religious parties like Jamaate Islami and Jamiat Ulema Islam will grow in their influence and electoral basis. They might fetch an unprecedented vote inrepparttar 132425 next general elections if allowed to take part inrepparttar 132426 elections.

Do you Support a complete ban on religious organizations?

I am in in favor of state banningrepparttar 132427 Jihadies organizations that are advocating killings onrepparttar 132428 name of Islam. But I am totally opposed to banrepparttar 132429 religious organizations byrepparttar 132430 state. I want allrepparttar 132431 religious trends to have a full freedom to advocate their ideas in a democratic and peaceful manner. But I oppose those religious fanatics who are in favor of killingsrepparttar 132432 opposite religious sects and individuals.

Are you hopeful aboutrepparttar 132433 outcome ofrepparttar 132434 Indo-Pak peace efforts?

No, I am not hopeful. I think both sides are not interested. I strongly feel so. All this is drama to show off torepparttar 132435 international community. Both sides are trying to score points.

I believe if there is a liberal and open visa policy, things will change radically. In early September 2003, a high-powered Indian delegation was to come to Lahore consisting of judges and lawyers. They were denied visas by Pakistan. Similar things have happened in India. Both governments want to divertrepparttar 132436 attention ofrepparttar 132437 people fromrepparttar 132438 real issues. Let people know themselvesrepparttar 132439 real differences betweenrepparttar 132440 two countries.

The auther is currently living in exile in Sweden

The very real "great satan"---

Written by James Sorrell

Continued from page 1
each other--->"An eye for an eye will only leaverepparttar world blind." - Mahatma Gandhi ), and then ignore them by instituting a planet-wide truce between all people while we sort out our own humanity! --->Make Love, not war!! {***Love is what you do for ALL others that is in their highest or best interest, anytime, anywhere, selflessly! 24/7.....***The real thing applied never fails!} James Sorrell [ or ] .........."The greatest trickrepparttar 132379 devil has ever pulled is convincingrepparttar 132380 world that he doesn't exist"....["The Usual Suspects"]

Lover, leader, truth seeker & explorer!

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