Tag Archives: Ifitkhar Chaudry

Bipartisan Letter from Democratic Rep. Jackson-Lee and Republican Rep. Burton Supporting Democratic Government in Pakistan

Letter Cites Op-Eds Warning of ‘Judicial Coup’ and Other Politically-Motivated Efforts to Destabilize Pakistan Government

The bipartisan Co-Chairs of the Congressional Pakistan Caucus circulated a letter Monday to their colleagues in the House of Representatives raising concerns about pressures on the democratically elected government and the role and recent actions of the judiciary in Pakistan, adding to those political pressures.

Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX, 18th Dist.) and Representative Dan Burton (R-IN, 5th Dist.), the two signatories, stated, “Pakistan is a critical partner of the United States on the frontlines of the war on terrorist extremists. Only with a strong and stable democratic government and civilian authority can Pakistan remain so.”

The letter cited two recent articles, “Judicial Coup in Pakistan,” published in the Asia and European editions of the Wall Street Journal on February 15, 2010, and “Our Security Depends on Aiding Pakistan,” published in The Hill newspaper on February 2, 2010. The articles examine recent actions taken by the Supreme Court of Pakistan that could threaten the separation of powers and create political instability in that country.

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Our security depends on aiding Pakistan

On Defense Secretary Robert Gates’s recent trip to Pakistan, he was reportedly asked by one Pakistani military official, “Are you with us or against us?” to which the defense secretary replied, “Of course, we’re with you.” But who precisely did the secretary mean by “you”? For both the U.S. and Pakistan’s interests, the “you” must mean the people who support the three principles of democracy, the rule of law, and civilian control in Pakistan — and, specifically, not those who would undermine them.

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