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Dec 6th, 2007

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The Emergency Times Quote of the Day
“In order to conquer, what we need is to dare, still to dare, and always to dare.” - Georges Jacques Danton

Updates on the Student Movement
Lahore 05.12.2007 Despite intimidation by the police, LUMS students continued their protest today (Wednesday). A sit-in was held at 1 pm outside the PDC. Students and faculty members made speeches, condemning the FIRs registered against members of the LUMS community and asking the protestors to continue their fight for justice. The eviction of Justice Shahid Siddiqui from his residence and the disgraceful treatment meted out to US peace activists Medea Benjamin and Tighe Barry were also strongly condemned. Students from LUMS were present at Justice Siddiqui's residence at 2 am this morning and during the day today (Wednesday), forming part of a human shield to prevent the police from entering the premises. Student Representatives from the LUMS Action committee along with prominent human rights activists, PMDC members, Lawyers, students and civil society members, attended a debate organized by The Campaign for Democracy and Rule of Law, at the Lahore Press Club today. The debate was held between the aforementioned groups and party members from most of the political parties to discuss party stances regarding the upcoming elections. Other than the ANP and PPP, party representatives confirmed that they would be boycotting the elections under the present circumstances. A talk took place this evening on campus, followed by a screening of the documentary 'Missing People'. Recent achievements and activities of the students were discussed as were present and future strategies, the importance of maintaining the movement at all costs was emphasized. Later the horrific account of the missing people left a stunned and stricken audience to silently contemplate the tragedy and trauma of the many families left broken by the arbitrary abductions of their loved ones by Government agencies. The LUMS Student Action Committee has also organized a protest to be held on campus tomorrow.

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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Dec 6th, 2007

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Justice Siddiqui suffers angina attack!
Dear all, Late last night/early this morning, the police did, in fact come to Justice Siddiqui's house in Lahore and removed the barricades ( i.e. chairs, bedding etc. placed by the protesters) in preparation of the eviction. Justice Siddiqui suffered an angina episode and was admitted at the Punjab Institute of Cardiology. Please send notes, flowers to show your continued support for him in this ordeal. For those outside the city or country, you can e-mail your letter of support to concernedpakistan@gmail.com - we will make sure the letter reaches him. Thanks & God bless you all In Complete Solidarity

CCP (Concerned Citizens of Pakistan Team)

Black Day to be observed on 10th December
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan calls upon all members of civil society to observe the Universal Human Rights Day as a "black day". The worst human rights abuses, in the history of the country, were recorded in 2007. The rights of ordinary people have been violated by the government with impunity. More than 400 people have been picked up by security forces and many remain missing. The Musharraf regime obstructed the Supreme Court in providing justice to those who remain disappeared, as well as those who recorded their statements of having suffered extreme forms of torture at the hands of the security forces. Reports of torture, threats, intimidation, and arbitrary arrests run into thousands. Incidents of extrajudicial killings continue to be reported but never investigated. The situation has now reached alarming proportions. The coercive apparatus of the State are being blatantly used against all sections of civil society. The media is chained and free expression censured. Thousands of lawyers, journalists, students, teachers and human rights activists were arrested. A number of them remain incarcerated under deplorable conditions. Lawyers and others have been accused of offences falling under the Anti-Terrorism Act. Thirty-five judges of superior courts have been put under house arrest. The family of the Chief Justice of Pakistan is also confined to their residence. This is unprecedented. The rights of the people are being usurped on the pretext of curbing terrorism. It is the people who are suffering terrorism; both at the hands of non-state militants and state agents. The government has failed to bring militants to justice or to disarm them. On the contrary, at several occasions, the government and its agents have patronized or in the least, ignored criminal acts carried out by militants acting in the name of Islam. HRCP warns that the claim made by Musharraf of moving towards a transition to democracy is a total farce. The assertion is yet another smack on the face of the people of Pakistan. Amendments to the Legal Practitioners and Bar Council Act as well as the Army Act are only a few examples of the government's grand plan to subjugate the spirit of peaceful members of civil society. Much more is to follow. HRCP, along with other civil society groups, will organize a black day on the 10th of December. Black flags and bands should be displayed on this unworthy occasion. In order to record the laudable struggle of the legal fraternity of Pakistan HRCP will award the best documentary film made on this movement. All entries are to be submitted by 30 June 2008. Asma Jahangir Chairperson Human Rights Commission of Pakistan 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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15 Baloch Students arrested from a Quran Khawani
Courtesy- Dawn News QUETTA, Dec 4: The Baloch Students Organisation (BSO) has alleged that police have arrested 15 students of the Lasbela University of Agriculture, Water and Marine Sciences in Uthal for organising a Quran Khwani on the campus for Baloch leader Nawabzada Balaach Marri who was killed few days ago. Addressing a news conference on Tuesday, BSO’s central executive committee member Farida Baloch accused police of torturing the students. She said atrocities would not compel the Baloch people to give up the struggle for their rights. Balochs had been facing the excesses of rulers for 60 years, she added. She said that forces were not only targeting BSO members but also implicating members of their families in false cases. (We strongly condemn this despicably brutal act by the police upon innocent students gathered for a somber and religious cause. If the state cannot even respect religious customs, it is sad evidence of the fact that they have renounced every ounce of humanity that could possibly remain. It is baffling as to how sheer tyranny and bigotry of this sort can even be tolerated, let alone ordered by any government. It is a stark reminder of the fact that the Musharraf regime is the only real extremist around and is an evil that must be rooted out at all costs. We reach out to our fellow Baloch Students in support and solidarity and solemnly pledge to remain committed to our cause for civil freedom, liberty and rule of law, until we, the citizens, are no longer subjected to further such state brutalities. We recognize that the Baloch's have been targeted by despotic rulers for many decades now, and it is only very recently that we have received a taste of what they have endured for so long. We salute them for their strength and resilience and reach out to them in these times in complete unity.) The Emergency Times- Eds

People’s Resistance condemns government crackdown on peaceful dissent
KARACHI, Dec 5: The People's Resistance, a coalition of civil society organization and individuals, strongly condemns the government's hard-line and brutal actions against peaceful dissent. These recent actions only betray the governments own weakness: The Law Ministry's notification about the retirement of the judges who did not take oath under the PCO, and the attempted eviction of such judges from their official residences, in particular Justice M.A. Shahid Siddiqui in Lahore. The FIRs registered against LUMS faculty members for wall-chalking -- Rasul Bakhsh Rais, Aasim S. Akhtar (who is not even in Lahore), Osama Siddique and Farhat Haq (who has not been at the university for past two years) and adan student. The brutal lathi-charge on the huge student-led demonstration in Islamabad on Dec 4. The arrest and deportation of two American peace activists who were in Pakistan to express their solidarity with the people. This action and the way it was carried out, by armed, plainclothesmen, further tarnished the image of Pakistan. We demand: - The Law Ministry should immediately withdraw its shameful notification about the judges' retirement. Caretaker Law Minister Afzal Haider needs to stand up for constitutionality and legality as he is duty bound 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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to do. - The immediate withdrawal of the FIRs against the LUMS faculty and student.

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We call on the democracy-loving people of Pakistan to join in the struggle for justice. We invite people to form a physical barrier at the homes of those judges who are being evicted, as the courageous activists of Lahore have been doing. We reiterate our refusal to accept the current dispensation with its curbs on the media and the judiciary.

People’s Resistance calls for meeting at the Karachi Press Club
Friends, This is an open call issued by members of the People's Resistance group to all activists in Karachi to attend a meeting at the Karachi Press Club Venue: Karachi Press Club Date: 6th Dec 2007 Time: 5:00pm Agenda: A number of civil society groups, laborer's, student bodies and political parties are invited to join hands to plan and issue a call for a city wide protest in the near future (13th or 14th Dec) [decision pending]. It must be remembered that People's Resistance would also like to also issue a unified stand on the present political situation during the meeting, and we anticipate a total consensus amongst the participating organizations, founding the basis of our future protests and coalition, which are as follows 1) We consider the PCO to be unconstitutional and all actions taken under this, as illegal. 2) We demand the immediate repeal of the PCO, Army Act 2007, PEMRA Ordinances 2007, and demand the restoration of the judiciary and complete freedom of the media. 3) We reject army rule - overt and covert 4) We reject the holding of elections under the Musharraf regime 5) We reject Pervez Musharraf as an illegal and illegitimate entity. Please remember this is just a meeting, with no intention of agitation or protests, and would strongly urge all activists in Karachi to show up in numbers and be a part of this important process. Request to please help propagate this message to a wider audience. In Complete Unity for Pakistan

“Not Without My Khakis”
He said it. He probably could not control his emotions on the day when he bid farewell to the army in a ceremony reeking of pomp and excess, but Musharraf summed up, in one sentence, the supreme military psyche: “Without this army, the entity of Pakistan cannot exist” [emphasis added]. Right. And we lost East Pakistan partly because this glorious army surrendered when it most mattered that they put up a fight! Thanks to this very army the “entity of Pakistan” is struggling to stay alive today. Its interference, time and again, in the political process-not to mention its other ambitious money-making schemes- has done irreparable damage to the country’s institutions (in addition to that caused by some politicians). Pakistanis too, are fast developing an intense dislike for the country’s army. Only the other day someone 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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Dec 6th, 2007

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remarked “Show me an army officer, and I’ll show you a real estate agent.” What a shameful image the institution has created for itself. What sham democracy are we heading towards, where the general-turned-president firmly believes that the army is the ‘be all and end all’ for the country, that our “existence” (no mild choice of words, mind you) depends on an institution that has, time and again, proved itself hungry only for power and wealth. One is astounded at the audacity of the former general as he callously reduced Pakistan to a mere “entity” whose past and future rests on the shoulders of this bungling mob of soldiers called an army. And, to give credit where it is due, for so many months now and with many a heavy heart, the lower ranks of the military have been fighting fellow Pakistanis. While we empathize with them, we cannot ignore the fact that they are part of an institution that has rarely served the country faithfully. This cannot have been what armies were created for. It is but natural then that, in these unfortunate times, Pakistanis all over the world should gasp for a breath of fresh air, and struggle to revive that document which almost every other country in the world believes is the real key to a nation’s existence – the constitution. Surely, in the 21st century, the life of any nation does not depend upon its army? And yet, in Pakistan our civilian president proclaims that his heart will remain inundated with love for the army. We only hope he can get his head out of the murky waters of military-style politics before his policies spell total ruin for Pakistan. Nevertheless, be warned all those who err to believe that Mr. Musharraf will be a force for positive change in Pakistan: you can take the man out of the army, but you will never take the army out of the man. The struggle must continue. Musharraf may have shed his “skin” but there may be others conspiring to seize the much-coveted throne, illegally and extra-constitutionally. We can no longer allow the army, or any single person, be it a general or a politician, to attach to himself the label of indispensability. They must know that they are accountable to the people of Pakistan and, no number of self-constructed halos over their heads will detract from the oppression and misery they have wrought on Pakistan for sixty years! We do not accept the sherwani in place of his khakis. Musharraf, the time has come for you and your beloved army to surrender your rein on power and make a full retreat! Maria Islamabad, Pakistan December 2007

The Throne of Pakistani Government =)

The National Art Gallery in Islamabad is currently showing this art display titled “The Throne of the Pakistani Government”. It consists of several lotas joined together! Art can simply never be muzzled.
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