Human Rights Watch criticises US, UK support for Musharraf

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New York, Feb 1 : The Human Rights Watch (HRW) has come down heavily on the US, the UK and other western nations for supporting Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf despite of rights abuses in that country.

According to the HRW, Musharraf has tilted the electoral playing field by rewriting the constitution and firing the independent judiciary in that country.

The group has criticised the US and the UK for refusing to condition assistance to the Pakistan Government on improving pre-electoral conditions and for ignoring undemocratic acts by Musharraf because of his support for the "war on terror", the Dawn reported.

"Thousands of lawyers and political opponents were arbitrarily detained in 2007, most of the country's senior judges sacked and harsh curbs imposed on the media," the group said in its annual report.

"The US, the UK and the European Union (EU) all issued statements urging Musharraf to end the state of emergency, release those arrested, and hold free and fair elections. However, their actions did not match their words," it added.

The group further said that by allowing autocrats (Musharraf) to pose as democrats, without demanding them to uphold the civil and political rights that make democracy meaningful, "the influential democracies risk undermining human rights worldwide."


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