Tuesday, June 21, 2005



Responses

I've received a response from the Prime Minister to my open letter regarding President Musharraf's visit:

Dear Idiot/Savant

Thank you for your email of 14 June 2005.

I have noted the points you make, and can assure you that whenever it has been necessary for me in my international meetings to underscore the importance of human rights then I have always done so. I am not one to sweep difficult issues of any kind under the carpet.

Yours sincerely

Helen Clark
Prime Minister

And to be fair, following the adverse publicity, Clark did raise the issue of women's rights. But it would have been far better if she'd raised it earlier, rather than having to be forced into it.

6 comments:

Kristof is not my favourite writer (*ahem*) but I take some comfort in this:

Despite Mr. Bush's praise, General Musharraf shows more commitment to his F-16's than to his people. Now he's paying the price. Visiting New Zealand the last few days, he was battered by questions about why he persecuted a rape victim, forcing him to cancel interviews.

Pakistani newspapers savaged him for harming Pakistan's image. And the blogosphere has taken up Ms. Mukhtaran's case, with more than 100 blogs stirring netizens to send blizzards of e-mails to Pakistani consulates or to join protests planned for Wednesday and Thursday at Pakistani offices in New York and Washington.


Posted by stephen : 6/21/2005 04:24:00 PM

"whenever it has been necessary"? That's rather ambiguous - does it mean whenever dealing with abusers of human rights, or whenever there's a public outcry that makes it awkward to ignore human rights?

Posted by Commie Mutant Traitor : 6/21/2005 05:24:00 PM

Sadly, I suspect its the latter. Clark showed every sign of ignoring the issue in this case until the Mukhtaran Bibi case made it impossible to do so.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 6/21/2005 07:34:00 PM

Hey, at least you got a response! It's more than can be said, for example, for *all* the Labour candidates in response to your survey. (Or have I missed one somewhere along the line?)

Posted by BerlinBear : 6/21/2005 08:04:00 PM

There's one from Hamish McCracken, the candidate for East Coast Bays. The rest are tending to cite caucus policy on not answering unsolicited surveys. I'm working on it...

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 6/22/2005 10:07:00 AM

Last week I wrote to many of you (including Idiot/Savant) asking for urgent help on behalf of a poor and courageous village woman, Mukhtaran Mai.

New Zealanders, you came up trumps!

Yesterday a columnist in the influential New York Times wrote:

General Musharraf shows more commitment to his F-16's than to his people. Now he's paying the price. Visiting New Zealand the last few days, he was battered by questions about why he persecuted a rape victim, forcing him to cancel interviews.


Never in his short dictatorial life has Musharraf had to contend with such a lethal barrage of truth as he did in his three day stay in NZ. He dodged dived and ducked (cancelling radio and TV interviews) and in the end blurted out the truth by confessing that he had been directly responsible for intimidating Mukhtaran Mai. His excuses for doing so were palpably laughable.

Well done all of you and many thanks.

Posted by Onlooker : 6/22/2005 03:38:00 PM