Karachi Photo Blog

Friday, February 15, 2008

Why is the Bush Administration responsible for the illegal detention of Dr. Safdar Sarki

September 11, 2001 was a horrible day. Thousands were killed in terrorist attacks in the US. But that day was terrible in a much more ominous way: the events of that day paved way for further killings around the globe and for suppression of basic rights of people all over.

Following 911, in its resolve to tackle terrorism the Bush administration went to the extent of insulating its actions from courts and the people. The war on terror started, a war that is still being fought without much accountability. In this terror-struck environment it was OK for government agencies to eavesdrop on people’s private phone conversations, without obtaining permission from the court; when suspected terrorists were arrested it was OK to deny them habeas corpus.

In fighting the war on terror the US provided an ugly example for other countries to follow. The US had just one prison that was out of the reach of the American courts. Pakistan, the chief US ally in the war on terror, opened many of its own Gitmos. Thousands of men disappeared in Pakistan after 911. They were believed to be picked up by police and other security agencies. Many of these men were alleged to be Taliban supporters. But in carrying out such abductions the Pakistani establishment saw a chance to settle other scores. Why only arrest Taliban sympathizers and ship them to the US prison in Guantanamo Bay? Why not take on other trouble makers--Sindhi and Baloch nationalists, whistleblowers, human rights activists, communists and all others who were or had proved pestilent to the Pakistani government?

And the encouragement for the Pakistani government’s illegal actions came from the US. If the boss was doing it, the subordinate could do it even more vehemently. If it was OK for the Bush administration to be not accountable to the courts for putting people in jail, it must be OK for Pervez Musharraf to do it too. In fact, the US patronage emboldened Musharraf to dismiss the judges of the Supreme Court when they took sua sponte action against the wrongful acts of his government.

The Bush administration is responsible for leading the world into the dangerous realm of unaccountable governments. The Bush administration is responsible for providing unstinting support to the present Pakistani regime, a sponsorship under which the Pakistani government has acted with impunity in subjecting its citizens to illegal actions. The Bush administration is therefore responsible for illegal detention of thousands of men including Dr. Safdar Sarki, in Pakistan.

See the documentary “Missing in Pakistan" here:

[Court document courtesy of Saghir Shaikh]

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