02/22/2008, 00.00
PAKISTAN

Archbishop of Lahore: “the ballot box has decided, now let us work for democracy”

Qaiser Felix
President of the Bishop’s Conference, msgr. Lawrence John Saldanha, underlines that the election results have clearly shown the will of people for a civilian and constitutional management of power. A deal is reached between the Popels Party and Muslim League.

Islamabad (AsiaNews) – In the elections, the people of Pakistana have “given a clear mandate in favour of a complete civilian and Constitutional rule, independence of judiciary, free media, more provincial autonomy, and a peaceful co-existence of religions and cultures”. This was underlined by the president of the bishop’s conference and Archbishop of Lahore, msgr. Lawrence John Saldanha, in a statement commenting the results of the recent parliamentary elections.

 

The ballot box returned a landslide victory for the People’s Party and the Muslim League N: moreover the results highlight the crushing defeat of extremists fringes in tribal areas, where the Taliban dictate law.  In the text, co-signed by the secretary for the Justice and Peace Commission, Peter Jacob, the prelate adds: “the political parties and the civil society need to ensure that the people’s verdict is respected and the transition to democracy in the country takes place smoothly”.

 

In light of this the Church “reiterates its stance that with other civil society actors, they shall continue to work for democracy in the country to build a culture of justice, peace and human rights”.

 

In the interim, talks continue between the country’s political forces for the creation of the next government, which will be the result of a coalition.   Asif Zardari, widowed husband of Benazir Bhutto and co-president of the People’s Party yesterday evening announced that a deal had been reached with former premier and leader of the Muslim League, Nawaz Sharif: “There is still a long way to go, but ours will be a joint government”. Among issues on the agenda in the primary talks, a an impeachment request against President Musharraf (with charges laid against him for the coup carried out in November), and the restoration of the Supreme Court, decimated by the purge also carried out in November.

 

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