ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, in a rare foreign policy decision, has lent a strong voice of support to others in the international community, calling for the immediate release of toppled Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi. Pakistan has become the third Islamic state after Turkey and Qatar to call for his release.
Having himself been a target of ‘extra-constitutional’ interventions in the Nineties, Nawaz government says that the recent moves of the Egyptian military, which have swept aside a democratic government, is a ‘major setback’ for Egypt’s return to democracy, and to the achievement of aims and objectives of the January 2011 revolution.
Pakistan says it enjoys close and friendly relations with Egypt, based on strong bonds of fraternity, mutual respect and common aspirations of the peoples of the two countries.
“It is therefore with a sense of deep concern that Pakistan wishes to express its anguish at the loss of innocent lives in the violence which has currently engulfed Egypt,” spokesman at the Foreign Office said on Friday.
Pakistan’s appeal for freeing Morsi comes at a time when according to Egyptian reports, an investigating judge has ordered the detention of Egypt’s ousted president Mohamed Morsi over alleged contacts with Hamas to help in his escape from prison in 2011, Mena, the official Egyptian state news agency, reported on Friday in the first official word on his status since a military coup on July 3.
Morsi has been detained for 15 days for an investigation into the charges. The announcement comes after military strongman Gen Abdel-Fatah el-Sissi called for mass demonstrations on Friday to oppose what he called “terrorism,” a reference to Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood.
A Mena report said that Morsi was being investigated over allegations of collaborating with Hamas “to carry out anti-state acts, attacking police stations, army officers and storming prisons, setting fire to one prison and enabling inmates to flee, including himself, as well as premeditated killing of officers, soldiers and prisoners.”
But, according to other reports, the Muslim Brotherhood slammed Gen Sisi’s recipe to restore calm in the streets of Egypt. The general was “calling for a civil war... to protect this military coup”, said senior Brotherhood figure Mohamed El-Beltagy. “He is proving that he is the actual ruler of the country, and that the president, his vice-president and the government do not hold any power,” he observed.
Senator Sayed Mushahid Hussain, speaking to The News from Cambodia, said: “Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s appeal for Dr Morsi is timely and positive, and shows Pakistan’s stands firmly with the democrats in the Muslim World, not with those with double standards. The coup against the president was an Anglo-Arab conspiracy against an elected leader and is a recipe for disaster and chaos, similar to what Algeria went through in 1992”.
“It is the earnest hope of the government and the people of Pakistan that the great nation of Egypt would be able to deal with its affairs in a manner that ensures political stability, sustained democracy and development of their country and prosperity and well-being of its people,” the spokesman at the Foreign Office added.
He pointed to the fact that Pakistan itself suffered from repeated extra-constitutional interventions, and was opposed to military interventions for resolution of disputes in any country.
“Pakistan therefore urges all sides in Egypt to address the legal and constitutional issues in an inclusive and peaceful manner to enable the country to successfully restore the democratic institutions as early as possible. We also call for the immediate release of President Muhamed Morsi,” said the spokesman.