May 11, 2023
Hikma Public Affairs Council is extremely alarmed by the current political developments in Pakistan, including the arbitrary arrest of former Pakistani Prime Minister, Imran Khan. As we continue to follow the unrest as a result of this shameful attack on civil liberties, we are reminded of the importance of supporting democratic values here and abroad. Hikma welcomes the decision of the Pakistani Supreme Court, which deemed the arrest of the former Prime Minister illegal.
Hikma strongly believes in the rule of law – that the law of any land is applied equally and transparently, in an unbiased manner. Such an ethical application of law at all levels preserves the fundamental human rights of all individuals, including civil servants and politicians. We are concerned that this arrest is part of a trend to weaken the rule of law and put at risk the basic rights of millions of Pakistanis who might oppose the Government’s policies. We are also worried that such moves aim to weaken the democratic system in advance of the upcoming Pakistani elections this year. We support the right of Pakistanis to peacefully protest without the threat of state directed violence.
We at Hikma Public Affairs Council fully support the call by the New Democratic Party of Canada for the Canadian Government to urge Pakistani authorities to respect the rule of law. We also call upon the Minister of Global Affairs to summon the Pakistani High-Commissioner to Canada, His Excellency Zaheer Janjua, to deliver Canada’s rejection of any attempts to weaken the rule of law and the democratic institutions of a key ally to Canada in the region.
Canadians, especially Pakistani-Canadians, fully expect our government to stand up for what is right in this situation and reject any and all attempts to infringe upon the rights of civilians, civil servants, politicians, journalists, and medics, among others.