The Emergency times Please Photocopy and Distribute

Nov 17th, 2007

1

The Emergency Times Quote of the Day
“Do not measure yourself by the actions of others, measure yourself against your own convictions”
(Adapted statement from a distinguished faculty member at the candlelight vigil)

GEO TV SHUT DOWN!
(Courtesy The News)
"KARACHI: There are reports that the government of Pakistan is using its influence with a foreign country to get the Geo TV network closed down, as the Geo TV network refused to surrender to the will of the government. It should be noted that Geo news and its entire sister channels had been closed down across Pakistan after the imposition of emergency. Earlier, the cable operators in Pakistan were forced to close all channels being operated by Geo Network and the Pakistani viewers were deprived of the great source of information. However, the Geo TV was on air from its Dubai office. The latest developments are that the government of Pakistan has gone to the limit of seeking the closure of Geo News network across the globe through a country. After this closure of Geo Network, the worldwide viewers would not be able to watch the great source of information worldwide. According to Geo TV network, it did not surrender to the will of the government and did not sign any paper of compliance with the government, for which it has been punished that its worldwide telecast is being gagged. On this occasion, Senior Geo News analyst Kamran Khan, Host of Capital Talk Hamid Mir, Dr Amir Liaquat Hussein, Geo News Senior analyst Nasir Beig Chughtai, Justice (rtd) Saeeduz Zaman Siddiqui, Senior defence analyst (Rtd) Talat Masud and British member of Parliament Mohammed Sarwar expressed their grief over this government step regarding closing down the Geo News network and condemned this fresh government attack on the media. It should be noted that nearly all the news channels of the country were taken off air, as soon as the emergency was announced in the country. PEMRA hammered out code of conduct for the media to follow and it was said only those channels would be allowed to operate if they fall in line with the government wishes. " How many more voices will they silence? How many more people will they blindfold as they continue the carnage in the darkness that engulfs us? People of this country, shed your cynicism, let go of this insidious apathy that has afflicted our very souls. We do not have much time... The voice of Truth and Justice shall prevail. In Complete Unity.

A Lawyers Story
More tales from hell… We reached the High Court in the morning to see the new judges that have taken oath under PCO. I am still junior and it's been few months since I began my practice, I am still with my supervisor. It wasn't much difficult for us to get inside the court since there weren't many people there but we had heard that a few lawyers had been arrested. The facility seemed like an army house than judiciary facility. My supervisor was 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 17th, 2007

2

mad enough that he said to a nearby standing Major "Well done, you conquered the Supreme Court as well as the lower courts ... seems like you got a real kick in WANA, Waziristan and Swat". The major only stared. We went inside and it was total cause, no one actually knew what to do and where to go to solve their cases. Majority of the lawyers there had nothing to do with the emergency, they just wanted to remain neutral. Barristers and Advocates were moving around, talking amongst themselves and with their clients. While we were at our task, we heard that two of our friends were arrested while leaving the building. It seemed like lawyers were arrested on exit, not while entering the court. It seemed like jail was inevitable. We went down and saw police standing very close to the walls of the court and looking carefully at the lawyers. My supervisor had a chat with one of their seniors who looked for his name on a list and informed that he is not to be arrested. Hearing that we left, but my experience taught be to be careful and that's what allowed me to detect a hand signal he made to a plain clothed man standing some distance away. Soon after that, we were surrounded by plain clothed policemen who threw us mercilessly inside small wagons ... they were big enough to seat 15 people comfortably and we were 48 that were fitted inside one and took to jail like dogs. Many of us had nothing to do with emergency and the only way to get out was signing endorsing that we would not participate in anything against government and to get bail from the new judges who took oath under PCO. Both were unacceptable to us who really are against the government ... others who wanted to remain neutral and earn their livelihood were released within a couple of days after endorsement and bail. We talked, we laughed, read poetry and a couple who were authors recorded the events of jail. One of them had reached 195 pages and he said he'll print it (in Sindhi) soon. The Barrack in which they were kept had two specialties. Nature's three forces remained in complete harmony in there that are Humans, cats and rats. There were 3 cats that were quite cuddly while at least 100 rats that were bigger than cats ... if you discount their tails, they were long enough to rival a normal man's forearm in length with big mouth to eat away one's finger in one bite. The second specialty was ... it was a torture cell as well designed for very few people. So 80 of us were crammed inside with one toilet to share that was in the room in front of everyone. The food was horrible and majority of the people avoided eating and drinking water so as to escape from the need of using toilet. You can't eat there with plate even little closer to the ground because if you did, the rats would jump on your plate to eat your food away ... they seemed to be there for that sole purpose. It was a terrible week where we met all kinds of people. Those who are real murderers and those who have received life sentence for a crime they did not commit. We also saw those officers who are specialist at torturing and they seemed to have seen so much that their faces look dead like and nothing seems to make them surprise any longer. Their sense of humor was extinguished and death seems to radiate from their presence. Finally, after one week of imprisonment my turn came for release. They themselves allowed us to leave because there was no point of keeping us in jail. The only bad thing was that when I left, there were a few more lawyers left that were from Punjab and had come to Karachi for some business and were arrested along with others on that day. Their families’ don’t know where they are and that are they alive or not. Since mobile phones were confiscated on arrival, I was lucky enough to get mine back when it was time to leave. Our jails are really not jails where bad people learn a lesson in humility ... they are universities for honing the skills of more deathly nature and train the criminals to the next level, each becoming more and more capable to rival anything that the police or army can through at them. -- Conflict is inevitable, but Combat is optional.

Pictures from a Protest in Korea

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 17th, 2007

3

Disconnected and Depoliticized in Pakistan: Elite Inaction in Emergency times
(Following is an excerpt from an article up on the blog) It has been frequently asserted in national and international media that the imposition of emergency by General Musharraf has been unanimously opposed in Pakistan. While there have been unprecedented protests from diverse groups, the outrage is by no means as widespread as one would expect. Here are just some of the arguments that protestors hear from their friends and colleagues: 1) Why are you supporting corrupt judges? All the lawyers are politicized and doing this for their own publicity and power. 2) What are you trying to achieve? Do you want corrupt politicians like Benazir or Nawaz Sharif? 3) The media was overstepping its boundaries, and the judiciary also became too interventionist. So both were asking for a clampdown. 4) Musharraf has been a great leader. Yes, he is making mistakes, but he is still our best and only option. 5) Protests will just cause more instability. 6) Things will return to normal, so we should just wait and pray for the best. These are overt and subtle ways in which the emergency is effectively legitimized by the Pakistani elite. In the following piece, I have attempted to articulate my own stance on the issue, and address some of these arguments. ---In February of this year, my ride home from work one evening was interrupted by a sizeable demonstration on Shahra-e-Faisal. The protest – as a radio channel informed me – was against the unlawful abduction and detention of "missing people" by our notorious agencies, and was being staged by hundreds of family members and activists who had traveled to Karachi from distant areas of Sindh. As I waited in my car for the demonstration to pass, I wondered: why is the tragedy of forced disappearances not sparking the outrage that it should? Why wasn't this protest widely publicized, and supported by the so-called civil society? And what was I doing about this? But of course this line of questioning never continues for long. I brushed off my guilt by resorting to the classic "what can I possibly do" and "there is no hope" cynicism, unconsciously told myself that I am working for important (and more convenient) causes like education and health so I do have some sense of social responsibility, put on some music, and eventually drove off. Recall the picture of the 17-year old son of a detainee whose shalwar was lowered by the police during a public protest in January this year, before being arrested. 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 17th, 2007

4

One becomes conditioned to overlook the entire picture when reading about such atrocities on an everyday basis. And so I read about all this with a sense of real but remote "oh, it's just so sad" concern. Over the course of this year, however, I became more interested in the issue of missing people. This, unfortunately, was not due to any change in my own conscience, but because the issue itself had become more visible – thanks to the legal petitions that the tormented families as well as the HRCP had filed. And the judiciary was responding. As elites, consumed by our work and social lives, we have been too depoliticized and disconnected to care. We don't even follow the news regularly, and may not know how the judiciary was upholding several causes of social and economic justice. There have been hundreds of petitions of aggrieved citizens who requested the Supreme Court to hear their voices, or take suo moto action, because they had no other recourse. And the judiciary was listening. It might have been corrupt, brash and naïve, but it showed concern. And unlike the shameless legislature, executive, and most of the citizenry, the lawyers and judges who have been hounded for months are still bravely refusing to accept an elitist and military-dominated status quo. What power are they getting by risking their lives and the security of their families? Why, for once, can we not think about their struggle with the seriousness that it demands? If we don't have the courage to protest ourselves, we should at least not trivialize and ridicule the efforts of those who do. Better still, we should express our solidarity, lend support, and actively shape this defining historic moment. We always have a choice.

Excerpt from a Pakistan Public Opinion poll conducted by the IRI in September 2007
(More such cheerful stats in following issues)

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