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Don't let human rights get you down | Musharraf to Fakhruddin PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 27 January 2008

Staff Correspondent

Reviled by many Pakistanis for temporarily suspending the constitution last fall and throwing hundreds or possibly thousands of lawyers and political opponents in jail, Pervez Musharraf nevertheless felt free to offer human-rights advice to a fellow regional leader in Davos, according to the Daily Davos, a World Street Journal blog on the updates of the World Economic Forum conference.

His message to Bangladeshi Prime Minister Fakhruddin Ahmed: Don't worry about it. Ahmed's caretaker government was installed last January by the army, shortly before elections were cancelled and emergency rules put in place to suppress protests from rival political parties.

Human rights organisations say tens of thousands of Bangladeshis have been jailed and scores tortured to death or summarily executed. 'I think you are doing a great job,' President Musharraf said while shaking Ahmed's hand in front of a reporter.

'Carry on doing it no matter what anyone thinks, irrespective of human rights.' Musharraf and Ahmed were joining Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih of Iraq and Afghan President Hamid Karzai on a Davos panel called 'The Quest for Peace and Stability.' And Musharraf asked that the audience not judge Pakistan 'on the idealistic, maybe unrealistic, Western perceptions of democracy and human rights.'

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