The Emergency times Please Photocopy and Distribute

Nov 16th, 2007


The Emergency Times Quote of the day
“The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of crisis, choose to maintain their neutrality” - Dante

PU Students continue to protest against Imran’s arrest, IJT
Hundreds of PU Students continued their protest against Imran Khan’s arrest from their varsity and the role the Islami- Jamiat – Tulaba played in it, for the second straight day on Friday. In an unprecedented show of defiance against the IJT, girls and boys from the university shouted slogans against the IJT and lauded Imran Khan. A large number of students have quit their IJT membership following the incident. The IJT itself has also suspended 17 students involved in manhandling Imran. Women students said they were tired of being "harassed" by the IJT. "We support the lifting of emergency and Imran Khan is the leader of progressive and modern Pakistan," one of them said.

Elections under Emergency
Here's how HRCP director I.A. Rehman puts it: "The whole transition to democracy is meaningless under emergency. Even elections will bring nothing for this country under the present circumstances. In my opinion emergency has made autocracy in Pakistan even more autocratic. It is true that before the promulgation of emergency Musharraf was already ruling the country by his own choice, but now all the powers have gone to him. He alone is responsible to decide." - – The text is worth reading in full, for the clarity IAR brings to the issue, as always. The bottom line: "The real victims of this coup are the people of Pakistan. When you discriminate against the judiciary and gag the media both suffer, but the ultimate victims are the people. If they do not get a good government, they suffer. Then there is no democracy without the judiciary. As for the media, it has under attack so that people cannot formulate their own opinion by getting relevant information. The government is not against these TV news channels but against what they are doing -- informing people. This is a way to put a stop to the democratic process. So democracy is the real target. All these are pillars of democracy."


Teach-in at The Lyceum
The activism continues, adding a new element – 'teach-ins'. Activist Naeem Sadiq and Sahar Shafaat (a political science professor based in the U.S., currently in Karachi) went to Lyceum Karachi today to give a lecture on the current situation in Pakistan. They spoke to about 30 A Levels students, focusing on the disparities in Pakistan, and what can be done about them. "The lecture made a very clear suggestion that students engage in peaceful protest as a way of resisting martial law."

New Caretaker Setup
It's midnight, and first assemblies to have ever completed their tenure (albeit under martial law) in Pakistan are now history. A new caretaker set up is in place, headed by Senate Chairman Mohammedmian Soomro as caretaker prime minister to oversee elections in January. These elections will be meaningless under the Emergency that shows no sign of being lifted even though Musharraf has tantalizingly said that he almost stepped down. The Constitution, the judiciary, and human rights must be restored – as the Karachi University Teachers' Forum demanded in their banner (cleverly avoiding the use of the word 'emergency' or any other overt criticism). 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 Our online version is on


The Emergency times Please Photocopy and Distribute

Nov 16th, 2007


Student Mobilization against the Emergency
Academics for Freedom
Students are often the vanguard of social movements that seek to overthrow repressive and authoritarian regimes. In the current crisis in Pakistan—the imposition of Emergency rule (read Martial Law) by General Pervez Musharraf—students across a number of campuses have awakened, organized, rallied, and have made their opposition felt.. Although a nascent movement, the students’ systematic and consistent efforts and the level of domestic and international press coverage they have received have made both the military junta and other mainstream opposition parties sit up and take note. The mainstay of the student political activity has been at a number of private universities located in Lahore and Islamabad. At the forefront has been Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), the premiere business and social science institution in the country. Other centers have been FAST-National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences, Beaconhouse National University, Islamia College and Hamdard University. Student political activity has also been mobilized in a number of public sector universities including Quaid-I-Azam University in Islamabad, Punjab University and the Government Science College. Most of the political activity has been campus based and has consisted of rallies denouncing Emergency rule and demanding the restoration of the constitution and pre-November 3rd status quo vis-à-vis the judiciary. Rallies have been accompanied by speeches of student, faculty and key activists; resounding singsongs; sitins; hunger strikes; as well as the establishment of an underground paper, The Emergency Times ( Students have come out in support of lawyers and journalists and have joined independent rallies held by these groups. Most spectacular, and perhaps not unexpectedly in this media and technological savvy age, has been the international coverage these student protests have received. A combination of YouTube, e-news, digital cameras and the internet have allowed the news of student activities to gain international attention (coverage in CNN, ABC, New York Times etc.) despite all attempts by them government to clamp down. These student protests have hit the political nerve of the establishment. Political activities on campuses have been non-existent since the early 1980s, when the last military dictator who ruled Pakistan, Zia-ul-Haq clamped down on campuses. Nothing compares to the student mobilization during the General Ayub’s period in the 1960s when the movement contributed directly to the downfall of that military regime. A lot is made of who these students are and what they represent. The fact is that the core of these protests is happening at private universities which are attended by the upper middle and middle class of Pakistan. Students at these institutions are linked with the establishment and other elements of the elite. What does this mobilization indicate? Is this a generational rebellion against authoritarian figures or a more fundamental reflection of the malaise that permeates among this group regarding the current political status quo? As a Dawn editorial on the 11/11/2007 noted these “Poster-children of Pervez Musharraf’s enlightened moderation…were least expected to speak up against his policies”. Interestingly, the students are not fighting General Musharraf’s policies per se. Leading up the Emergency, there has been little if any debate among students on the war on terror, the policy in Baluchistan or the detention of individuals by security agencies. What has mobilized the students is the dismantling of the basic institutions of the state. Yet these are the very young people who have most benefited from the rapid consumerism and the leniency of cultural norms that have blossomed under the Musharraf era. The opportunities to rebel against authoritarian structures are constant, and the judicial activism earlier this year provided an impetus which few students took up. The current protests suggest that this time Pervez Musharraf has gone too far and these protests reflect a genuine anger at his political manipulations and the establishment of the Emergency. Projections in the international media of young men and women dressed in western clothes marching together and carrying banners have had another affect on international perceptions. In effect, it has allowed the middle and upper middle classes to claim back space from the images that otherwise permeate the international 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 Our online version is on

The Emergency times Please Photocopy and Distribute

Nov 16th, 2007


media of the “Talibization” of Pakistan-- the bearded mullahs and the habitually covered women who walk ten steps behind and have no voice of any kind. It suggests that there are other political actors who are in the Pakistani mainstream—young men and women who are articulate, passionate and concerned about the deinstitutionalization of their political and economic institutions and are willing to stand up to the systematic usurpation of political and economic power by the military. Moreover, at a time when human right activists, lawyers, educators and other members of civil society actors are being rounded up and arrested, the burgeoning student movement gives hope that this group can form the bulwark of the opposition against the Musharraf regime. How viable is this? It is too early to tell. Only nine days have passed since the Emergency was declared and within that time these students have managed to achieve a phenomenal amount, specially if you consider the non-existent political organization on these campuses prior too 3/11/2007. Students have kept to a limited remit, protesting on campuses, in order to ensure that they are around to protest another day. Rules that limited the state’s access to private campuses prior to the Emergency no longer apply under the police state that currently exists. There is little guarantee that the violence extended to other opposition members of civil society will not be vented on these students within their own campuses. There are issues of organizational structure and sustainability. Should protesting students, who for the most part have been non-political, align themselves to existing mainstream parties to take advantage of their organizational depth and experience? Should these students take positions regarding the existing opposition parties? How strong is their organizational capacity to sustain long-term protest? Is there a need for a supra-student structure to manage this country-wide protest? These issues are only beginning to challenge these inexperienced political protesters and decisions on these issues will determine their long term viability and their ability to sustain opposition. For now, those who watch salute their actions and have faith that the best of this country’s human capital will meet these challenges with intelligence, sound strategy and bravery to ensure a sustained assault again the Emergency.

(Courtesy DAWN) KARACHI, Nov 15: A group of teachers took the initiative of leading a peaceful protest demonstration at the University of Karachi on Thursday against the imposition of emergency in the country and other laws implemented with the proclamation issued by Gen Pervez Musharraf on Nov 3. Holding a banner calling for the restoration of the constitution and the judiciary and lifting of curbs on the media, around 15 teachers led by Dr Riaz Ahmad took out a rally from the Arts lobby at 1pm and walked silently in the corridors and compounds of various departments up to the main Silver Jubilee gate of the university. Upon reaching the gate, the protesters wearing black armbands chanted slogans against dictatorship and censorship, like 'Fauji Junta, Na Manzoor'. A majority of them belonged to the Department of Social Sciences. Prominent among them were Dr Abdul Qadeer (Applied Physics), Hina Khan (General History) and Dr Zahoorul Hasan Babar (Philosophy). A handful of students passing by in overcrowded buses joined in the protest but the others looked bewildered on seeing the teachers registering their protest. Earlier, the United Teachers' Forum organized a lecture on 'Struggles against Draconian Laws' at the AudioVisual Centre where M.B. Naqvi was the chief guest. Mr Naqvi informed the audience about the gravity of the crises confronting the country at the moment and warned that its future was at stake if inaction remained their virtue. Mr Ahmad urged students to debate ideas among themselves and hold peaceful protest on any issue which they felt strongly about. A meeting of the protesting teachers and students interested in joining in their protest would be held on campus on Saturday. Footage of the event would be shown in the Audio-Visual Centre on Monday.

Protest at Karachi University

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 Our online version is on

The Emergency times Please Photocopy and Distribute

Nov 16th, 2007


Hundreds Rally to Support Pakistani Lawyers
NEW YORK ( NYLJ) Nov. 14, 2007 - About 700 lawyers rallied yesterday afternoon in front of state Supreme Court in Manhattan to show support for lawyers and judges in Pakistan battling for the restoration of the rule of law. Addressing the throng that poured down the courthouse steps and spilled onto the sidewalk, Barry Kamins, president of the New York City Bar Association, said the rally was called "to embolden" the Pakistani lawyers and judges who have been "physically manning barricades and trying to face down an entire army." Kathryn Madigan, president of the New York State Bar Association, also called for lawyers to speak "with one voice in defense of the rule of law" in Pakistan. And Catherine Christian, president of the New York County Lawyers' Association, said Pakistani lawyers "are showing the world what it means to be a lawyer - fighting for liberty and an independent legal system." Mr. Kamins, president of the New York City Bar Association who took the lead in organizing yesterday's rally, said the city bar had received an e-mail from the faculty and students at Lahore University of Management Sciences, expressing appreciation for the bar group's support. In a statement forwarded with the e-mail, the students and faculty stated, "What Pakistan faces today is the subordination of every independent organ of state to unchecked and unaccountable military executive power."

Update on Abida Hussain
Syeda Abida Hussain, former Pakistani Ambassador to the United States, former Cabinet Member and Member of Parliament, and presently a member of the Central Working Committee of Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party, was arrested under orders of the present regime in Pakistan earlier today for engaging in the agitation for the restoration of democracy and the rule of law. Some hours later, she was brought back by the police to her residence, which has been declared a sub-jail. She is under indefinite house arrest and is confined to her room and back verandah, with policewomen posted outside her bedroom door, and policemen posted at the gate. All pro-democracy forces in Pakistan today, including the Pakistan People's Party, hope for the speedy release of all political prisoners, lawyers and members of the judiciary, a restoration of the 1973 Constitution, the reinstatement of the dismissed Chief Justice and the dozens of judges that were dismissed along with him. We also desire the repeal of the present administration's extension of the Army Act to apply to all civilians who, if now publicly say or are overhead saying anything critical of the Army or any member of the Armed Forces, are subject to arrest and trial by military courts, in addition to the repeal of the ban on the independent TV channels. All of the foregoing are prerequisites to holding free and fair elections.

From her son

Excerpt from a Pakistan Public Opinion poll conducted by the IRI in September 2007 Q: Do you think the government should declare a state of emergency?

(Further explosive details from the poll in the next issue) 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 Our online version is on