Don’t follow our example, Pakistani civil society warns Maldives

Civil society organisations in Pakistan have expressed alarm over the political crisis in the Maldives, urging the country not to make the same mistakes as Pakistan and calling for the Maldives’ suspension from SAARC until democracy is restored.

Civil society activists from organisations including the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research, the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum, Sindh Development Forum, former Supreme Court judge Nasir Aslam Zahid and human rights activist Iqbal Haider addressed the Maldives’ situation at a joint press conference on Saturday.

“At least two countries in South Asia – Pakistan and Bangladesh – that have faced martial laws and coups in the past know very well how people suffer when democracy is brought down,” the civil society representatives said, according to newspaper Pakistan Today.

“We believe that democracy and governance are two different matters and the failure of governance should not be equated with the failure of democracy. An elected regime is brought in by the efforts and votes of the people through the institution of elections and the exit of an elected government should also follow the same procedure.

“There is no way use of force or coercion should be allowed to overthrow a democratically elected government. We also believe that if South Asia is to progress as a region, it will have to adopt democracy as a system of governance,” the representatives said.

“We also stress the need for the Pakistani government to take a strong stand with regards to the events in the Maldives. There are a lot of similarities between the Maldives and Pakistan. Like the Maldives, the elected government of Pakistan too came to power after a very long struggle against military rulers that had held power unconstitutionally for a long time,” they said.

The Pakistani civil society representatives warned that the Maldives was now following the same path of decline that had mired Pakistan in political, religious and economic turmoil.

“The growing strength of religious forces in the Maldives seeking to assert their political prowess and their role in the overthrow of the government is also a point where Pakistan could relate to its South Asian neighbour. The elected governments in Pakistan have battled and are still struggling with the same phenomenon.

“South Asia, as a region, has lost resources and valuable time over the quest by powerful military institutions to assert dominance over the state. This has to be discouraged and a culture of promotion of democracy needs to be cultivated,” the representatives stated.

“We also urge the government to call for the activation of the SAARC mechanisms to prevent the undemocratic move in the Maldives. A joint stand from the platform of SAARC needs to be taken to condemn the events in the Maldives. We also urge all South Asian publics to take this matter seriously and support their respective governments in condemning the action.”

Civil society organisations in the Maldives have been noticeably quiet since the controversial events of February 7-8.

Off the record, several civil society figures have said they have avoided making a stand for fear of politicisation.

“I don’t think taking the right stand means we are politicised,” said another, on condition of anonymity.

“To be frank, we’ve really tried to work on these issues but we’ve hit a wall with the media, [particularly broadcast]. We’re just not getting the time and attention we used to [under Nasheed’s government].”

Several NGOs, including Transparency Maldives, the Maldivian Democracy Network, the Maldives NGO Federation and Democracy House sent a letter to new President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan on February 29 – three weeks later – requesting observer status on Dr Waheed’s Committee of National Inquiry (CNI) into the circumstances surrounding the change of government.

The NGOs subsequently met with Dr Waheed and the CNI in an attempt to ensure the composition was acceptable to all political parties, as Nasheed’s MDP has currently boycotted the inquiry claiming it consists of key Gayoom loyalists.

The NGOs sent a second letter on March 15. Minivan News understands that they are still awaiting a reply.

“The onus is on the President to change [the composition], as the CNI has said it cannot,” said an NGO representative.


22 thoughts on “Don’t follow our example, Pakistani civil society warns Maldives”

  1. great stuff, our pakistani friends. thanks for the support. we'll work hard to bring democracy back and establish a people's representative government.

  2. I agree that we should not follow Pakistan as they have an extremely corrupt civil leadership. I think we did follow for a while as people like Reeko Moosa became a millionaire, and Maria's family had started an airline.

  3. we need the help and support from all our friendly countries.Thanks for our Pakistani brothers.

  4. thanks to our paskistani brothers, and we need support from global citizens on the matter,we the Maldivian is facing a very difficult situation and to overcome this need utmost support from brothers and sisters of other countries.
    Help the people of the Maldives by supporting us to have an election this year 2012.

  5. Maldives is going along the same road as Pakistan, and in the same direction. Due to the stupidity of Pakistani politicians,the Pakistani military gained ascendancy in politics. West Pakistan became Bangladesh also because of the stupidity of politicians and the power-hungry nature of the military.

    The Commonwealth ( an international organisation and SAARC (a regional organisation ) should both take a stand on the Maldivian situation.

    Maldives is a small and basically poor and backward country which is in the grip of a few greedy individuals.

    There is a loud cry that Islam is in danger in the Maldives.

    The present Home Minister is a fanatic Muslim and power-hungry opportunist.

    Military and Police rule have come to the Maldives.

    Pakistani Police and the Military are actually a lot more enlightened than their Maldivian counterparts.

    There is greater danger to the Maldives

    Pakistanis know it better than anybody else.

  6. Transparency Maldives and Maldivian Democracy Network has a big mouth to criticise Nasheed's government all the time. But the current dictatorship and their brutality is very ok for them. Good work guys! Hope you are getting more funds to increase your salaries, for bigger office spaces and for more travelling. We know what you do with the funds taken to help the people of this country. We are watching you!

  7. Pakistan heal thyself, It has gone beyond point of no return. Mulla, Military nexus formula for success of Islamic Republic! Maldives to follow soon.

  8. If civil society cannot talk about brutal oppression of people's civil rights, what is the use of civil society? There's nothing civil about a civil society that cannot take a stand on the human and civil rights of the people.

  9. A lot of the Maldivian religious bigots got their training in Pakistan. People like Burumaa and Jameel use these guys as their weapons. The ousting of the government in February was greatly assisted by the religious fanatics who were stoked up by businessmen disgruntled with Nasheed's policies.

    My prediction is that the current regime will inflict great harm on the Maldivian society and economy in just a little over a year (which they technically have left until elections). After shouting from the opposition sidelines, they face the reality of actually governing a country.

    They are trying to find any old scapegoat to blame for their failures and the top priority seems to be the free health care scheme introduced by Nasheed. Of course, the tycoons who brought down the government do not want to pay extra taxes to support the free healthcare programme. Hell no, they do not want to pay ANY taxes, full stop.

    Is that the way to a prosperous future or a destitute state? It's the latter, I'm afraid.

  10. thank you pakistanis, but this wont have any affect... The problem is Indiais the key player in this region and they are already with baagee waheed. for the first instance, since 7th feb, Mullay high comm frm india here has been working with the traitors. otherwise this wont have happened. india would not have recognised this governement so soon.

  11. People at transperancy maldives have relayives at high positions in this coup government so they remain hush. If u remain hush for longer the more funds they to be provided by dr waheedh

  12. surprised why Pakistanis advocating democracy when India the big democracy should be the one Roles reversed maybe self interest play the key role

  13. 'Pakistan civil society' should try and get its own house in order before advising others.....seeing as Pakistan slides further into an ungovernable mess with each passing day.....we have a unique country here where muslims kill other muslims each day.
    You call yourself a '100% sunni muslim country' and you do have some of the most discriminatory religious laws in the world. Do you seriously think you can handle the concept of freedom, equality and secularism that democracy entails?.....I think not.
    The other sunni muslim nations that share your.....'we are God's chosen people and everybody else is garbage'.....beliefs like saudi arabia, yemen, afghanistan, there any semblance of democracy there?.....I doubt it.
    Where there are free thinking liberal secularists you get.....democracy.
    Where there are intolerant narrow minded islamists you get.....pakistan, saudi arabia, yemen, afghanistan and maldives.
    Sad but true.

  14. These are merely subversive elements within their own country disparaging the dominant structure. They must be garrotted on the spot immediately.

    In truth I find Pakistan a most compelling place to visit;, they are a happy prosperous lot that do not have to put up with deviants and such (outside of the decadent urban areas). Aside from their silly, cosmetic 'democracy', and worriesome toleration for harlot women working outside the home, we would do well to emulate them in many regards.

  15. With islamist retards like Ayatollah Dhivehi Hangyourself who has posted are basically doomed.
    How can you have democracy with lunatics.....sorry 'religious scholars'..... like these in your midst??

  16. Thank you, Pakistan for setting and example of what not to follow. 🙂

  17. @Indira. This guy who call himself hanguraama is by no means a muslim. He is a devout kaafir and his objective is to portray islam in negatively. dunno how many times i wrote this comment in minivan,

  18. Pakistan still not a democracy. This time the judiciary and the military are conspiring to oust the elected Government.
    Maldives must work to suspend Pakistan from Commonwealth,UN and SAARC if this unholy alliance of the judiciary and the military succeed.
    Anyway when the General arrested the prime minister and declared himself the ruler, we at SAARC did not say anything let alone oust Pakistan.

  19. @Mohamed2 on Fri, 6th Apr 2012 10:04 PM

    you wrote-

    "Pakistan still not a democracy. This time the judiciary and the military are conspiring to oust the elected Government.
    Maldives must work to suspend Pakistan from Commonwealth,UN and SAARC if this unholy alliance of the judiciary and the military succeed."

    Bro, I gotta have a puff of whatever you're smokin'

  20. these fanatic islamists want to bring the country back to the 7th century. We know that Mohammed has used weapons and called for war to defend his religious ideas.
    But we are in the 21st century and we should have learned, that war has never brought fortune. To find god you just have to look at the nature, everything is working with perfection and harmony, the only disturbing factor are we human beings,and the urge for power and violence is nothing divine! Let religion at its place and dont mix it up with politics and laws! Through the sharia law a whole system of fear is set up, this can´t be in god´s will. If it would be, god would be something very negative. I dont want to believe this, god is showing us our way, he doesn´t need words for it. Words are only made my humans!

  21. Pakistani rock band Junoon should come and give free concerts to the pro-democracy protesters!!!

  22. c-bag on Sun, 8th Apr 2012 8:22 AM wrote:

    "Pakistani rock band Junoon should come and give free concerts to the pro-democracy protesters!!!"

    Yes. They should be brought here and garrotted! To make an example of them to other aspiring musicians and their truly satanic ilk!


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