Nov 29, 2007

Day on the Hill: Talking Points

Day on the Hill Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

Talking Points with Congress and Media:

1. Pakistan is on the front line on the war on terror. A strong and stable Pakistan is in the best interests of the international community.

2. Protection of the Rule of Law and independence of the judiciary is critical for the internal stability of Pakistan.

3. The events in Pakistan from the beginning of 2007 have undermined the Supreme Court, the independence of the judiciary, the press, and all other institutions that are hallmarks of a society based upon a competent legal structure.

4. Media coverage of lawyers being beaten, imprisoned, and detained has provoked a global reaction from the international community.

5. It is of utmost importance that the United States conveys to the Government in Pakistan that the Rule of Law by the Restoration of the Supreme Court of Pakistan is integral and in the best interests of all parties.

6. Musharraf's sinking credibility is making Pakistan more unstable and religious extremists are likely to benefit from this situation. Pakistani as well as American interests will be at stake in such an eventuality.

7. The perception that U.S. stands by Musharraf is leading to more anti-Americanism in Pakistan. Any statement from U.S. congress in support of Pakistan's judiciary and lawyers' movement will enhance US image and in fact will increase its capacity to constructively engage Pakistani society.

8. Blaming the Supreme Court in interfering with the war on terror is misleading. The only episode in which the Supreme Court actually helped any extremists was when two judges of that court took suo moto notice of the closure of the Red Mosque in Islamabad. The two judges who ordered that the mosque be restored to the same extremists after a bloody siege were amongst those who re-took the oath under the Emergency. This contradicts the notion by General Musharraf that the Supreme Court was interfering with the war on terror.

9. The American Bar Association has refuted the justification of General Musharraf’s action by citing the threat of terrorism. It stated that Judiciary is a cornerstone of lawful government and shutting down a nation’s lawful institutions of justice will hurt, not help, the fight against terrorism.

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