Pakistan should not go down the road of coups

Pakistan’s Ambassador to US, Husain Haqqani, Thursday expressed the hope that the military, the government and the judiciary will play their constitutional role, while commenting on widespread reports of a coup taking place in Pakistan.

“I hope not,” was how Haqqani reacted when directly confronted with the question on CNN whether a coup was in the works in Pakistan, after the country’s Defence Minister Mukhtar Awan was prevented from boarding a China-flight at Islamabad airport on Thursday.

“Pakistan has suffered from past coups,” he said, adding: “Everybody in Pakistan, including our top military leadership, has made it clear that the military should focus on defending the country’s frontiers, and the elected government should run the government in accordance with the Constitution, and courts should adjudicate criminal and constitutional matters in accordance with the law.

“I hope that everybody will play their constitutional role and the country will not go down the road of coups. That has been disastrous for our country in the past,” Haqqani maintained.

About Pakistan’s Supreme Court verdict which struck down the National reconciliation Ordinance shielding President Asif Ali Zardari and a number of other politicians and bureaucrats, Haqqani said the court has “only given one constitutional ruling, which is that cases that have been established in Pakistan against various public figures, that they have to be reinstated because they were arbitrarily terminated.”

“But the fact of the matter is that many of these cases, including the cases against (President) Zardari, were not proven or decided even after a lapse of 10 years. So, even if these cases are reinstated, it does not mean that everybody is guilty or should be presumed guilty,” he said.

“And those who are trying to make them sound or who are presuming that they are guilty and acting on it, I think will certainly be told by the court at some point – I hope so – that this is not the case. You can try them back. That’s what the Supreme Court wants. The trials should reopen.

“But that does not mean everybody should be treated as if they are guilty, including the defence minister”.

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