Monday, December 24, 2007

Imran Khan's Letter to Congressman Bruce Braley

Mr. Bruce L. Braley
Member, Congress of the United States
U.S. House of Representatives
1408 Longworth Building
Washington, DC 20515 USA

Dear Congressman Braley:

( - I refer to your letter of November 20, 2007 to President Bush.

I am writing to express my gratitude for your strong stance on ending the state of Emergency, restoration of Constitution, release of all political prisoners and protection of Opposition leaders in Pakistan. I was deeply touched by your words, especially demanding my release from prison.

As you know, Pervez Musharraf has announced that his government will be holding general elections in Pakistan in January 2008. I would like to bring to your attention factors that will render the elections farcical resulting in a non-representative and ineffective Parliament.

1. Consolidation of Powers in the Office of the President. In the last eight years since taking over the government through a military coup, Musharraf has systematically removed all systems of checks and balances that are essential to the working of a [real civilian] democracy. Specifically, through the [illegal] 17th Amendment in the Constitution, he has also taken over many powers that should be resting with the Prime Minister in our parliamentary form of democratic government. A recent Gallup poll suggests that 82% of Pakistanis want Musharraf to go.

2. Subversion of an Independent Judiciary. The only thing standing in the way of Musharraf and absolute power was an independent judiciary under [Pakistan Supreme Court] Chief Justice Iftikhar [Muhammad] Chaudhry. By illegally declaring Emergency rule (actually Martial Law), Musharraf [unlawfully] removed all the independent judges (60 out of a total of 95) from the senior judicial system of Pakistan and replaced them with relatively unknown people who are widely perceived as his allies. With all the independent judges under arrest, who will monitor the elections and provide justice to the aggrieved parties?

My political party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf [PTI] - along with several other major political parties in Pakistan and civic groups all over the country - have decided to boycott the upcoming elections until and unless [all] the independent judges are restored to the pre-November 2, 2007 status.

Congressman Braley, I request you to educate and inform your colleagues in the United States Congress that without the restoration of an independent judiciary, elections in Pakistan will neither be fair nor acceptable to a majority of Pakistanis and will lead to further unrest and turmoil.

I write to you, not as a politician, but as an individual concerned about the fundamental rights of a people of the world to another who shares his concerns.

Once again, thank you for your efforts in requesting for my release.

Warmest Regards,

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)
(Movement For Justice)

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