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Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 181st session
(Geneva, 10 October 2007)

The Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Referring to the case of Mr. Makhdoom Javed Hashmi, a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan, as outlined in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/181/11(a)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 180th session (May 2007),

Recalling that Mr. Hashmi, leader of the Alliance for the Restoration of Democracy, was arrested on 29 October 2003 on the ground that he had circulated an allegedly forged letter written in the name of Pakistani army officers, bearing the stamp of the Army General headquarters and criticizing the army and its leadership; that at the close of a trial held in prison he was found guilty of all charges (defaming the government and the army, forgery and incitement to forgery) and sentenced on 12 April 2004 to a 23-year prison term which, as the sentences run concurrently, amounts to seven years of imprisonment; that on 24 April 2004 Mr. Hashmi lodged an appeal against the judgment which is still pending,

Recalling further that his petition for suspension of sentence was first dismissed by the High Court on 24 February 2005 and the decision was upheld by the Supreme Court on 9 October 2006; considering that, upon a petition for review, the Supreme Court, on 3 August 2007, "reviewed and recalled" its earlier decision and suspended the conviction and sentences of Mr. Hashmi pending his appeal and ordered his release on bail; the Court based its decision on the fact that, taking account of the time he had already spent in prison and remissions, Mr. Hashmi had served almost the entire sentence, that it was not certain whether his appeal would be heard in the near future, and on a procedural flaw in the first-instance court proceedings; Mr. Hashmi resumed his parliamentary activity on 6 August 2007, but has recently resigned from the National Assembly together with other opposition members of parliament in protest against the candidature of outgoing President Musharaff in the forthcoming presidential elections,

  1. Notes with satisfaction that the Supreme Court suspended Mr. Javed Hashmi's conviction and sentence pending his appeal and that he was released;

  2. Recalls the duty of the judicial authorities to dispense justice without delay and that justice delayed is justice denied; urges them therefore to schedule without further delay the hearing of Mr. Hashmi's appeal, which has now been pending for three years without a single hearing having taken place;

  3. Decides to send an observer to the appeal proceedings and requests the Secretary General to take the necessary measures at the appropriate time;

  4. Requests the Secretary General to inform the authorities and the sources accordingly; Requests the Committee to continue examining this case and report to it at its next session, to be held on the occasion of the 118th Assembly of the IPU (Cape Town, April 2008).
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