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Moderate Muslims must speak out in one voice’

 The following is an excerpt from a statement to the 22nd session of the UN Human Rights Council, Geneva, 25 February to 22nd March, 2013 (Agenda Item 3: Promotion and Protection of all Human Rights – civil, political, economic, social and cultural – including the right to development), made by Sultan Shahin, Editor of New Age Islam, on behalf of the World Environment and Resource Council:

Pakistan: democracy in danger

Tensions between the civilian Zardari-Gilani Government and the Army inPakistanare rising, with the Army-smitten Supreme Court and the Government’s main opposition, the Nawaz Muslim League, indirectly supporting the military. But it would be too hasty to conclude thatPakistan’s political history will soon repeat itself with the Army staging a coup. A coup may not be on the horizon for both foreign and domestic reasons.

A game of cat-and-mouse

The confrontation between the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)-led coalition government and the country’s powerful military has subsided, but the respite could be temporary.

As was expected, Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani backtracked after issuing some tough anti-army statements. His decision to retract his remarks against Pakistan Army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) head Lt Gen Ahmad Shuja Pasha was seen as an effort to defuse the tension and mend fences with the military establishment. There was even talk of some sort of deal, though no evidence was yet available that the democratically elected government and the uniformed generals had done some give-and-take in a bid to repair their damaged ties.