Socialist International condemns emergency rule in Pakistan

5 November 2007

The Socialist International condemns the suspension of the constitution and the imposition of emergency rule in Pakistan, and calls for the immediate restoration of democratic governance and the full respect for fundamental political rights and civil liberties.

The International is especially concerned by and denounces the house arrest of the Chief Justice and mass detentions of lawyers, political figures and human rights and civic activists, and calls for their immediate release.

There are no political developments or social conditions that can justify this blatant resort to authoritarianism in any country. Anti-democratic behaviour, in fact, only provides further opportunities for extremists who seek to take advantage of unstable situations.

The Socialist International reiterates its belief that democracy and the respect for the will of the people are the only way to peacefully and effectively resolve the difficult issues faced by Pakistan, and calls for free and fair elections to be held in the country as scheduled. We reaffirm our solidarity and support for the Pakistan Peoples’ Party, a member of the Socialist International, and its leader Benazir Bhutto as they strive to restore democratic rule and strengthen democratic institutions in their country.

Statement issued by the Socialist International, 5 November 2007