You are on page 1of 4

The Emergency times Please Photocopy and Distribute

Nov 12th, 2007

1

The Emergency Times A Silent Plea.. V
The past two days have been depressing, both here and around the country. The air is beset with despondency, frustration, uncertainty and doubt. With information sources in disarray, no one knows what to believe, who to trust, what to think. It was to be expected and I will not lie; my mind too has been overwhelmed with confusion. For that is exactly how the oppressors want us to think. They want us to sink ever deeper into cynicism, apathy and self-doubt. They want us to turn away while the country bleeds, to lie listless while the fire consumes the heart and soul of this abused nation. It is in this frustration, in this dejection, that we must find our strength. The strength to stand up and reclaim this nation from those who have purged it of all that was whole and good. For, my friends, I fear we may not have another chance; this country may not have another chance. For decades, generations have stood by as this nation was exploited, subverted, pillaged by its own leaders; Leaders who told us to sit quietly while they bled the very soil of this land. We yearned for justice, for peace, for development, for honesty and accountability, but received little. Over the years, many of us lost faith in our own identity – we were no longer ‘proud of being Pakistani’. Skepticism and cynicism became inherent Pakistani traits. Our culture, our traditions, we slowly lost touch with. Successive 14th August’s passed without a whimper; Pakistan, we felt, no longer belonged to any of us. Today, at the most critical juncture that this country has seen in its turbulent history for decades, we have an opportunity – maybe our last – to change all of that. Today, we have the chance to salvage our country’s future, to save it from destruction, to save it from the very apathy that threatens to devour it whole. Why are we protesting, people ask me? To usher in another corrupt politician? To open the doors for another dynastic arrangement that exploits whatever’s left of this tattered nation? What are we fighting for? To them, I extend one simple answer; we are fighting for Pakistan. We are fighting because soon, there might not be anything left to quarrel over. We are fighting for the country’s future, a future where people are socially and politically conscious, where injustice is not complacently tolerated, where the masses are empowered and equal. Where the most destitute denizens of society can seek the same justice as its rulers. Where corrupt politicians do not dare steal from the nations coffers. We are fighting for institutions that can ensure this, for institutions that prevent the abuse of despotic and political power, institutions that protect our rights. And unless that is ensured, none of Pakistan’s myriad of problems will be solved, however much our Messianic General wishes us to think so. And yes, make no mistake about it; we are fighting savage, unrestrained oppression. Yes, the fight will be long and hard. Along the way, it will be beset with disappointment, with frustration and restlessness. But, for once, I want being Pakistani to mean more for me than cheering a cricket match victory, or mindlessly waving a green flag on the 14th of August. I want to ‘be’ this country, to feel one with it, to be proud of it in all respects, to heal the wounds that decades of turmoil have wrought upon its crumbling visage. And, in these darkest of times, I pledge, as Allah is my witness, to do my utmost to make that happen. And no, this fight does not end with the end of the martial law. This fight continues until we can truly claim to have made a difference. Until we have purged this country of all the anathemas that threaten its survival; Disclaimer: This publication is not affiliated with or does not endorse any political party or social group. It is a humble effort to inspire and make aware- for we together can make a difference in these troubled times. Write to us at theemergencytimes@gmail.com. Our online version is on pakistanmartiallaw.blogspot.com

The Emergency times Please Photocopy and Distribute

Nov 12th, 2007

2

from military rule, to corruption, to inequality, to intolerance, to terrorism, to socio-political apathy. Already, the social consciousness of our countrymen is stirring. We have commenced on our journey. I am making a humble plea now, to anyone listening or reading, my colleagues at LUMS, students, teachers, parents, Pakistanis. Please join us. Please wake up and save this country. It is not the responsibility of one individual; all of us have a part to play. If we let this one opportunity slip us by, history and more importantly, God, may not ever absolve us. We must act with the faith that courses through our veins, with conviction in our beliefs and in the values that we are fighting for. And we must move quickly, for our nation cannot sustain much more. Collectively and substantively, we must speak out and come out. In Complete Unity. May Allah bless us all.

‘People’s Resistance’ issues call to action
Peoples Resistance is a coalition of civil society organizations that includes Karachi WAF, HRCP, Women’s Peace Commission, lawyers, journalists, and other professionals. People’s Resistance calls upon all professional groups, NGOs, trade unions, student unions, and individuals to join the platform of resistance in its peaceful campaigns for the restoration of independence of judiciary, cleansing the judiciary of the unprincipled judges that have signed the PCO, restoration of the independence of the media, and the security of all the people of Pakistan by the restoration of the Constitution of Pakistan. We, the citizens of Pakistan, salute the judges who have not signed the PCO, and have thereby asserted the inalienable right of the judiciary to remain independent. We, the citizens of Pakistan, salute the media in its determination to protect the independent role of their profession. Civil society makes the following demands: 1. Immediate restoration of the Chief Justice of Pakistan and the judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts that have not signed thePCO. 2. The judges who have signed the PCO must resign without any delay. 3. The judges who have started visiting the Governor must desist this practice immediately, as it subverts the judiciary to the executive and thereby insults the judiciary, which is the most central pillar of a State. 4. Changes in PEMRA ordinance must be withdrawn and restrictions on the media must be removed without any conditions. 5. All lawyers that have been arrested must be released immediately, and all cases withdrawn.

Suspension of Constitution is a major sin: Ghamdi
Reported in The News, Sunday 11th November
KARACHI: Renowned Islamic scholar Javed Ahmed Ghamdi has said basic human rights had been guaranteed by God Almighty to all human beings and no one could usurp or suspend these rights under any circumstances. In a statement, Prof Ghamdi said these basic rights could not be taken away even in a state of war. He said the Constitution of Pakistan was a national charter and to abrogate, suspend or violate it was a cardinal sin, which could not be forgiven easily. Disclaimer: This publication is not affiliated with or does not endorse any political party or social group. It is a humble effort to inspire and make aware- for we together can make a difference in these troubled times. Write to us at theemergencytimes@gmail.com. Our online version is on pakistanmartiallaw.blogspot.com

The Emergency times Please Photocopy and Distribute

Nov 12th, 2007

3

Prof Ghamdi said it was the basic right of every citizen to criticize wrong decisions of any government and protest against such actions. But these protests must be peaceful and should not endanger the life, property or dignity of any citizen. He said both the government and the protesters must respect the rights of others and this principle must not be forgotten at any time.

A Judicial Travesty
S.M Many people have been writing here about how the emergency (read: martial law) impacts your life as a citizen of Pakistan. If you looked at the headlines today (Sunday 11th November), you'll see just one more way in which it does-'Civilians can be court-martialled'. What this means is that any one can be charged with treason, terrorism, sedition, attacking the president and even 'giving statements conducive to public mischief'. Some of these are 'new crimes' that have been added to the Pakistan Penal Code. According to the DAWN report, this has been done since it is felt that the terrorism courts can not hold 'proper or speedy trials' of captured 'terrorists'. How is a military court different from a civilian court? In most countries, such as the US, a military court does not require a unanimous decision to convict the person on trial. A two-thirds majority is sufficient. These trials are held in secret and the rules for admission of evidence are not as strict as those for civilian trials. Since the trials are secret, it is obvious that the jurors are not civilians (or peers of the civilian who is charged), but military officials. One has to admit that the timing of this change in the Army Act (1952)is significant. At the moment, thousands of lawyers and human rights activists are being held in jails, government schools and anywhere else available, for raising their voice against the brutality and injustice perpetrated by our government. God only knows what their fate will be. When President Bush tried to get military tribunals to try suspected terrorists, the US Supreme Court overruled him. Our Supreme Court "judges" are not going to do that. The onus is on you, on us to overrule Musharraf. Be careful, stay safe, BUT, do not let him think that we will stand for this!

Protests Continue Worldwide
Toronto:
There have been protests in Toronto over the last week, one of which took place in downtown Toronto on November 10, 2007. At this rally there were various speakers such as government representatives, human rights organizations, union leaders, professors, students and parents. The message was clear and the media heard it loud and strong. We were broadcast on local television networks and urged the Canadian government to hear our voices of reason and help. The rally was also attended by proud LUMS representatives such as Qasim Saddique as a speaker as well as Aisha Khan and various students that have been at LUMS during various periods of their academic lives from my batch and others.

Boston:

Pakistani students from local universities and colleges held a very successful protest rally at the Boston Commons. The rally was attended by about 200 people. The students had the full support of Boston's Pakistani expatriate community. Boston area academicians, lawyers and physicians attended and spoke at the rally. Students at Harvard, MIT and Bunker Hill Community College were among the key organizers of the rally to protest the attack against the judiciary, curbs against the media and the violence against lawyers, human right activists and students exercising their right of peaceful protest.

Paris:
Disclaimer: This publication is not affiliated with or does not endorse any political party or social group. It is a humble effort to inspire and make aware- for we together can make a difference in these troubled times. Write to us at theemergencytimes@gmail.com. Our online version is on pakistanmartiallaw.blogspot.com

The Emergency times Please Photocopy and Distribute

Nov 12th, 2007

4

A Protest against the emergency was arranged by Pakistani students in Paris. There were about more than 100 Pakistani students and community members and it was a very successful event, as it captured the attention of more than 4000 international tourists in front of Eiffel Tower. GEO and ARY One were there to capture the event

IBA Students disallowed from Protesting
From ‘an IBA student who wants to join the movement’ The Administration of IBA has made it very clear that any student found even wearing black a ribbon as protest against emergency will be expelled without a hearing before the disciplinary committee. This "unofficial notice" came after students of IBA made a silent protest against emergency by wearing black bands on their arms and foreheads. Students in Karachi want to be part of the students' movement but the administrations are not letting this happen.

Call of Defiance
Maelstrom Blind my eyes and gag my mouth, my very breath shall exude defiance. From mountains north and seashores south, every stone and wind shall cry defiance. My arms are strong and my blood is thick, with the sweat and tears that begot this land. Achieved not through deception or magicians trick, but through vigorous souls and calloused hands. My chest now burns as my heart now aches, to see our lives in your shackles Inside, the earth rumbles and dams start to break, the wolf shall growl and stand his hackles. I have arisen and you should be afraid, stealer of all I love and cherish. That for which my fathers fought for to the grave, It shall not be surrendered until I myself perish

(Pakistani Students and community protesting in Boston (left) and Paris (right)) Disclaimer: This publication is not affiliated with or does not endorse any political party or social group. It is a humble effort to inspire and make aware- for we together can make a difference in these troubled times. Write to us at theemergencytimes@gmail.com. Our online version is on pakistanmartiallaw.blogspot.com