NEW YORK, July 2, 2008 — Aitzaz Ahsan, the president of the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan, said he hoped that the U.S. would "desist from intervening" in the country on General Pervez Musharraf's behalf.
During an interview at the Asia Society, Ahsan, who has led the lawyers' movement calling for the restitution of an independent judiciary, said that American backing for General Musharraf and his policies had made the U.S. unpopular among the Pakistani people.
In response to a question about his political future with the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) given signs of a growing rift, Ahsan said he had no intention of leaving the party. He insisted that there was no "inherent impasse" between the position of the PPP leadership and himself regarding the restitution of the judges. He discussed the terms of the Bhurban Declaration signed earlier this year between the two key political parties in Pakistan, the PPP and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), which called for the restoration of the judges.
Ahsan said both political parties were equally responsible for the fact that the issue remains unresolved.
Interview conducted by Nermeen Shaikh, Asia Society Online
Ahsan on the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and the impediments to the restitution of the judges (4 min., 17 sec.)
Ahsan argues that it is a misconception that the people of Pakistan supported Musharraf's coup and urges the US to stop intervening in the country on the General's behalf (2 min., 48 sec.)
Listen to the complete interview (12 min., 53 sec.)