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Nov 20th, 2007

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The Emergency Times Quote of the Day
“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” – Elie Wiesel

Police baton-charge, temporarily arrest 200 Journalists in Karachi
Journalists subsequently released upon Governor’s orders

(Photos courtesy Geo News)
Karachi: Police, on Tuesday, baton-charged journalists protesting against the closure of Geo News, outside the Karachi Press Club. Several journalists were wounded in the police charge. Subsequently, the arrested journalists were released at night, following relevant orders from Sindh Governor Ishratul Ibad. The media representatives were scheduled to approach the Governor House to speak with the authorities but they were accosted by the police. Thereupon, the journalists staged a sit-in protest, but the police began to arrest them. When the journalists began fleeing, the police chased them into the Press Club and began the baton-charge, wounding several of the media men.

APDM calls for nationwide strike on the 23rd of November
All Parties Democratic Movement held a meeting today in Islamabad which was attended by the entire APDM parties including PML-N, PTI, MMA (JUI, JI & others), ANP & regional parties including PONAM. The meeting concluded with a unanimous call for a country wide protest on Friday 23rd of November against this martial law enforced by General Pervez Musharraf.

Fact of the day
Pakistan worse off than Burma on UNDP Development Index
Pakistan now ranks below Burma (Myanmar) in the United Nations Human Development Index's social indicators—a fact not terribly surprising given that Musharraf, in the last eight years of his rule, has invested only 2% of GDP on education. This interesting article (http://www.fpif.org/fpiftxt/4740) demonstrates how 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

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not only have the leaders of this country succeeded in turning our political situation into a mercurial politics bait in the upcoming US presidential elections, but their track record in achieving social progress in this country, should make the junta in Burma quiet envious of them.

Bahria University Administration clamps down
A piece of paper titled FLASH, literally threatening students involved in demonstrations and political activities was pasted to walls and passed through the corridors of Bahria University. It stated that those involved would be subject to strict disciplinary actions including but not limited to expulsion, cancellation of degrees as well as legal action. These ‘punishments’ would be for all those wearing black bands and protesting on as well as outside campus. The administration made an even more obvious show of their insecurity as they closed the university on Monday, the day on which a protest organized by Bahria and Air University students was scheduled. Perhaps one can not blame the administration of such universities, run by the Navy and the Airforce respectively, but their attempt to silence the opinions of their students is truly shameful.

Imran Khan on Hunger Strike
Imran Khan began a hunger strike Monday in the prison where he was sent last week for protesting against emergency rule, his spokesman told AFP. He said Khan wanted a restoration of the constitution and reinstatement of judges sacked when President Pervez Musharraf imposed the emergency just over two weeks ago. Khan is in Deraghazi Khan jail, normally used to house terror detainees and hardened prisoners. He was picked up last Wednesday and charged under a section of anti-terror legislation which stipulates a minimum punishment of at least seven years and up to life in prison. Lahore police said that Imran would face charges for inciting people to pick up arms, calling for civil disobedience and "spreading hatred."

Patriotism and Common Sense
Ali
The Article by Mr. Baig entitled 'Path of a Patriot' is a much needed starting point for a debate that has been burning around campuses since the imposition of Martial Law. Before beginning my analysis, I would like to highlight that discussion on this point should continue since it is essential for understanding the present situation. While I completely agree with Mr. Baig that the removal of the General is not a cause worth endorsing on its own, I have serious reservations about what has subsequently been said in the article. Let me first highlight what I conceive the General's removal to mean. I agree that if the General were removed today, and another military ruler took over, we would not have moved an inch beyond where we stand today. This means that the fundamental fight is NOT against General Musharraf as a person, but the institutional role of an unelected, hierarchical entity in Pakistani politics, i.e. the military. This is an underlying point on which my response to Mr. Baig's article would attempt to build upon. This means that Mr Pervez Musharraf, contrary to what Mr. Baig believes, DID not go through a metamorphosis from an Idealist, to a proponent of realpolitik and finally a Machiavellian Prince. Rather, the very removal of Nawaz Sharif by a military General shows how the ROOT of the malady facing Pakistan, is not Benazir Bhutto or Nawaz Sharif; it is the continued interference of the army in the polity of the country, masquerading as our savior. It is natural therefore, that the present struggle is a struggle against this institution that has thwarted any attempts for democratic consent to exist in this country ( ignoring the argument that we are not ready for democracy, often found in elite circles and more recently in the General's martial law imposition speech). Of course, politicians have always been a support mechanism for military regimes, but the overriding power has always existed with the army. The assertion that Benazir is a more vociferous proponent of international interests is absolutely incorrect since BB's party at least has roots within the masses Pakistan, unless of 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

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course, Mr Baig conforms to the same elitist sensibilities that PPP supporters are nothing more than illiterate peasants, easily duped by their leader every time. General Musharraf has absolutely no roots within this country (his referendum can be testament to that) and Mr Bush still calls him America's 'Staunch ally' in the war on terror. Who can forget the billions of dollars received by Pakistan to butcher innocent Afghani's, massacre its own people in Waziristan and Swat to counter 'Terrorism' and the selling out of Pakistan's assets (including telecommunications) to foreign companies. Even the General's Prime Minister, Mr SHORTCUT Aziz, a man with no political constituency in Pakistan, is like a 'Gift' to Musharraf from International Donor Agencies. No one represents international strategic interests more than the General, and the reason for this is the fact that dictatorships in Pakistan have never found popular support amongst the masses. Instead they have relied primarily upon international powers (with a few local renegades thrown in, like the Chaudhry brothers today. As for corruption, who can compete with the Army's billions of dollars of legitimate corruption, using the state apparatus to obtain loans and grants for businesses, from construction to corn flakes. The Army is also the biggest land holder in the country, fleecing several thousand peasants off their lands to make poultry farms and farm houses. Field Marshals, like Khattak Abbas Khan are known to have received kickbacks of 180 million rupees through the sale of mirage fighters. Countless other cases of corruption exist that are never investigated due to the fear of the military, while all attention is cast upon the corruption of politicians. The Armed forces already receive more than 50 % of the budget to kill its own people in Balochistan, Swat and Waziristan and sells nuclear weapons to other countries. The reason for viewing politicians as corrupt and ignoring the biggest corruptor, stems from years of a 'systematic demeaning of politics' in this country, the brunt of which has been borne by the PPP. This comes as no surprise since the PPP is perhaps the only party with a consistent record of fighting the military establishment. Notwithstanding the fact that Benazir is corrupt, the biggest danger to unity today stems from creating fissures in the opposition by calling an end to Benazir along with the General. The reasons are quite simple. The fight against dictatorship can only succeed if a democratic government of National Unity is formed, something that all political parties, including the PPP is calling for. Democracy without BB would ignore the biggest political opposition to the Military Establishment, without which any democratic set-up is unforeseeable at least in the near future. We definitely need to bypass BB at some point in time, just like we need to bypass the PML (N), or the Jamat-iIslami. This is only possible, however, if we allow democratic processes to find their course, citizens to scrutinize their leaders, and most importantly, if we reject the misguided notion that we need UNIFYING LEADERS. That we do not need unifying leaders to be our saviors would be the same as the General's claim. We need democratic institutions to be allowed to take root, and the only way for that to happen, is if the military is taken out of the power equation permanently, and a democratic government of national unity through free and fair elections is allowed to function. Any other path can create discord amongst the opposition and turn our attention away from the main struggle of the present time.

After the Emergency
Asif
One is just waiting to see how Musharraf will cope with the situation after the emergency is reversed, the curb on media channels lifted and the fundamental rights of citizens restored. The media will come back stronger and all that happened during the black-out phase will be exposed and shown for weeks and months to come. The civil society will be even more mobilized than it was before the emergency. Wide spread condemnations will continue by all and sundry. Will the final conclusion to all this mayhem for Musharraf be – game over, you win? Certainly not. Does he expect the people of Pakistan to just say ‘yes sir’ and accept him in a civilian role after demoralizing and bulldozing the once revered institutions such as the army, more recently the courts and not to mention the parliament and senate which just abided by whatever policies were chalked out by his cheer leader, Shaukat Aziz? After Musharraf assumes a civilian role he will certainly have lost his power base – the army, the winds will not always be in one direction then, and his influence will dwindle. Unless the next Government bails him out 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

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Nov 20th, 2007

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by continuing to walk in his shoes (read America’s DMS), there’s no way out for him. Even if the next Government does go bonkers and keeps the ball rolling in the same direction as it has been for the last 6 or so months, that will surely result in their political death. No matter which party comes into power, whether through rigged elections or otherwise, the repercussion of doing so will be grave. The beginning of the end has started for Musharraf and if he has the most miniscule bit of self respect left in him, he won’t have the audacity to even accept the slightest roles of public service in the future setup. The nation is fed up of him and his stooges. The very corrupt stooges that he brought to power through blackmail will be the first ones making him the scapegoat. There will be no one to scratch the back of Musharraf after the emergency rule, the sooner he realizes this, the better. While Musharraf keeps the entire nation in the dark, he opts to give a minute by minute update to his mentors in Washington. Is this his version of ‘Pakistan First’? We get to know what his next step will be (or what blunder follows) from the State Department rather than our own ministries and media. His three prong strategy that he flashes to the western world so cohesively has so many countless other prongs protruding from the sides. Where Alberto Gonzales had to resign as attorney journal of the U.S for making the judiciary too politicized, in stark contrast, in our country judges were removed for being too independent. It’s high time we stop being dictated by neo-cons whose values remain intact in their own homeland but export the deformed and compromised form of their values to other countries. People in power are threatened to be aligned towards goals of the western world or face a reduction in aid. The day our leaders took money in exchange for our independence, the day we sold out on true democracy and prosperity. Had we not taken the money the first time around, we would’ve been much more independent and democratic by now. We are far better off without it, the money that is sent is only used by people in power to flash the economic prosperity card and clamp down on any rational movements, and nothing goes into real sustainable development. Of late, people are getting wiser and more involved in the politics played by the ruling elite. The order of the day would be to end this emergency rule, have free and fair elections, and the current rulers have a somewhat respectful exit from the scene. If however, the power seats are clutched even harder, there will be an irreparable damage to not only the country as a whole but the army will feel the brunt of the entire nation by looking down upon them for years to come. There’s a fast way of killing a nation and there’s a slow way. The day the NRO was signed, a piece of us died. The day the constitution was held in abeyance and the PCO promulgated, another piece of us died. The day the police beat and thrashed the intelligentsia of our nation, another piece died – and so the slow death continues.

How to save Pakistan
By Imran Khan
Make no mistake; Pakistan faces a grave threat from the creeping chaos, a by-product of the most shameful demonstration of power politics. There are many threats confronting our society. The threat of extremism is just one which is essentially a consequence of policies that serve foreign interests at the cost of the fundamental rights of our citizens. On 9/11, yes, we should have stood with the US when it was attacked by terrorists. But our cooperation should have been within the ambit of our constitution and law. No civilized society will ever allow its own army, raised and armed at a great cost to society, to be used so mercilessly against its own citizens and expect business as usual. In a society where the majority is without fundamental rights, without education, without economic opportunities, without healthcare, the use of sheer force will only expand the extremist fringe and contract the majority moderate. Our military rulers are incapable of understanding that the real owners of the country are its people who must have the right as, political sovereigns, to decide without fear and coercion who should rule them. In India the only qualification for Lalo Prasad or his domestic housewife Rabri Devi to rule Bihar was the mandate of the people. Can we imagine our ruling elite ever accepting a similar people’s verdict? This fundamental question of ‘Who Owns Pakistan’ must be decided once and for all. 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 20th, 2007

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In the absence of democracy and rule of law, extremism and religious fundamentalism will continue to grow at a frightening pace. The more the present regime bows to Washington’s desire to “do more” and the more innocent Pakistani blood is shed under the garb of fighting the war on terror or curbing extremism, the more Pakistan moves towards becoming a “failed state”, and the more people would resort to picking up arms against security forces.

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