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The Emergency Times Please Photocopy and Distribute

Dec 9th, 2007

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The Emergency Times Quote of the Day
When there is injustice in society, then everyone will go to politics Except these two kinds: those who are timid and those who are materialist (Aristotle)

A Night out on the Footpath
(An account of a night at the hunger strike camp) Omer. G “If all the students rise up against it, no oppression can last in this country” said the middle-aged man with a gleam of hope sparkling in his eyes that moment. The next moment that gleam vanished and my attention returned to the premature wrinkles on the forehead of this otherwise strong and healthy man. He was a not any political leader egging students into revolting – he was a policemen stationed to harass the student protester. As we sat observing the hunger strike, we, the students, were vowing not to quit until our arrested colleagues are released. We had a detailed conversation with him and other policemen after accosting them and giving them one of our coal heaters. We had a long and cold night ahead of us - on the footpath outside the Lahore Press Club, the students and the police were in it together. The lines on their foreheads, their knits brows just like the sad tone of their voices eloquently told the tragic tale of our nation – the story of a nation marred by repeated oppression, persistent deep-rooted social injustice, unfulfilled dreams and the frequent corruption of otherwise noble souls. Indeed, writ in those lines was the story of humans miserably trapped in a system that pushes some into oppression, others into helplessness and most into ignorance. It’s a strange thing. We were supposed to be enemies – the police and students. But we became friends. The truth is that some powers want to pit the people versus the state. They cannot succeed because the state, after all, is comprised of countless humans, none of whom can be completely beyond the appeal of conscience and reason, no matter how miserable constrained by material circumstances they may be. The police constables cannot help arresting, tear-gassing or baton-charging us when ordered to do so by those who control the bread and butter of their families. But their hearts and minds are theirs and there we have scored a clear victory over the powers-that-be. That is why, in the longest run, the people stand assured of victory in their battle with the state. The people are everywhere, within and outside the state, and in their hearts and minds they stand united in opposition to centuries of exploitation and oppression. They are united also in their hope that the youth of this nation will herald the coming of a brighter dawn than that in which their elders have lived their lives. Lying on the footpath, as the night grew darker and colder around us, and our hunger increased by the moment, hope was all we needed – hope that the night will soon be over, that our fellows will be released and that life will soon get back to normal. May be it true that no one can completely live life off hope; but you can pass the night with just that. We, however, had a lot of other things to keep us busy - keeping the coal heater alive, maneuvering to fit all into the scarce razais, singing songs and reciting poetry of all sorts. Then, there was strategy-making but that is just another form of hope. Dawn did break. The road became busier. More people, in buses, cars, on rickshaws, bicycles and on foot started passing. Some looked, others stated, yet others stopped to talk and some gestured support. We showed the victory sign to every passing police vehicle and got quite a few similar gestures in return – we have 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

Dec 9th, 2007

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a video to prove that, but it is, of course, confidential. May be, the cold and hunger we went through does not soften the hearts of rulers who have caged our fellows. But it taught us what Pervez Musharraf and his cronies - who have never spent a night protesting on the footpath to solicit the people’s support - will, unfortunately, never learn. That lesson is: the people are with us as we resist the entrenched, systemic oppression rampant in this country. With all their machinations, tricks, frauds and bribes, they will never get as much love and sympathy from God’s people as we gathered in that one night, lying exhausted on a cold footpath. We don’t know if our hunger strike will succeed in getting our arrested fellows bailed out. But the hand that controls destiny has bestowed upon us a lot of other valuables – including the admiration of policemen deployed to harass us and the sympathy of thousands of ordinary passers-by

GOR detainees charged under Anti terrorism Laws!
In a new and unprecedented move of threat and oppression, the peaceful vigil holders arrested from Justice Siddiqui’s house have been charged under the Anti terrorism act (section 7). A large number of SAC students accompanied a lawyer for posting of bail at the cantt kacherry court early on the morning of the 10th. The magistrate dismissed the petition for bail explaining that the detainees had been charged under the anti terrorism act. Until the filing of this report the mass of SAC students with the lawyer were enroute to the anti terrorism court. Prayers and support is needed. There is a protest arranged by the HRCP at 11am onward at the High court to mark the Human rights day. We urge all of you to come in display of solidarity with the innocents who have sacrificed much and put themselves in immense danger for our collective cause.

Lawyers in Distress
Dear Friends, Lawyers have been in the centre of the present constitutional and judicial crisis. For standing up for the rule of law and for raising their voice many lawyers were detained and hundreds imprisoned. Lawyers as a community have also boycotted the PCO judges, this being their most commendable sacrifice as it directly affects their livelihood. Lawyers' movement rests on the fight for the rule of the law and restoration of judges. This entails imprisonment, detention and non- appearance before the PCO judges which has a sizable economic cost. Keeping this urgent need in view, CITIZENS FUND FOR LAWYERS IN DISTRESS (FUND) has been formed with the objective to help and provide a sustenance fund for the need based lawyers and their families. This support also ensures that the Movement continues through thick and thin. The Fund is supervised by three most credible names in the legal profession namely: Mr. ABID H MINTO, DR. PARVEZ HASSAN AND Mr. ANWAR KAMAL. The Disbursement Committee is headed by MR. ANWAR KAMAL and to date Rs 1.2 million has been disbursed to the deserving lawyers and their families. We need more funds to keep the movement alive and in this movement lies the future of Pakistan and the future of our children. Please come forward and donate generously!!!! Kindly contact SAIMA KHAWAJA, Advocate High Court - cell 0300-8414843 off: 5870300-3 or the undersigned for your donations. With personal warm regards, Syed Mansoor Ali Shah Advocate Supreme Court of Pakistan 0300-8459240 Off: 5870300-3 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

Dec 9th, 2007

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Upcoming People’s resistance activities
MONDAY, Dec 10 - Human Rights Day being observed as a 'black day' by HRCP, PFUJ/KUJ and People's Resistance 4 pm, Karachi Press Club - wear black. TUESDAY, Dec 11 - - 'Live with Talat' - featuring Talat Hussain, & Nusrat Javeed & Mushtaq Minhas (Bolta Pakistan) Karachi Press Club - 2.00- 4.00 pm sharp ( Confirmed guests include Justices (r) Wajihuddin Ahmed, Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim, Majida Rizvi & Rasheed Rizvi (Prez. SHCBA) and Noor Naz Agha. FRIDAY, Dec 14 - The big rally - Join us to demand the Restoration of the Judiciary & the Media and Revoke the PCO. 4.00 pm - Meet at Regal Chowk, end at Press Club. All organisations, parties and individuals who support these demands are welcome. Bring your friends. Register your protest. Thank you & see you there. In solidarity, and on behalf of People's Resistance

Protests likely to gain momentum
(Courtesy the Dawn) ISLAMABAD, Dec 7: Over 100 protest demonstrations have been held in the federal capital territory since emergency rule was proclaimed on November 3 and the trend is likely to intensify, Dawn learnt on Friday. Security sources said the local administration and police have informed the federal government that the 108 demonstrations remained peaceful and police had to intervene on two occasions only. However they feared the lawyers’ community, journalists, students and representatives of the civil society would mount more protests in the coming days. Meanwhile the local police have announced that it was in negotiations with these elements on keeping peace and that extra police contingents have been called from Punjab to maintain law and order in the city. Journalists were found to be most active on the anti-government front. Of the 108 protests recorded so far, 32 were staged by them, followed by the lawyers (28) and the students (19). The civil society and the political parties trailed behind them with 15 and 14 protests to their credit. A little over 1,300 protesters were arrested for violating a ban on public gatherings or were taken into preventive detention, like leading lawyers Aitzaz Ahsan and Munir A. Malik and former ISI chief (retired) Hameed Gul. About 130 people, including two women and a child, were hurt in protest melees. Police recorded all the protests but registered only37 FIRs.

A Lawyers Ordeal
(Munir A Malik narrates a chilling account of his imprisonment and near-fatal illness caused by negligence) By Beena Sarwar "It was psychological torture to the worst degree," says Munir A Malik, former President Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), talking about his three-week ordeal in prison before he was belatedly taken to hospital 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

Dec 9th, 2007

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with renal failure. "It can drive a person insane to be lying on a bed staring at the ceiling for 16 hours." Malik was arrested on Nov 3 from his hotel room in Islamabad. His colleague Justice (retired) Tariq Mahmood (who also got ill in prison) was with him earlier. Both had just reached Islamabad when they heard about the emergency. Expecting the arrest, Malik waited in his hotel room with the door open. The police arrived at about 10.30pm and took him to Kohsar police station where he deposited his cell phone. He arrived at Adiala Jail at 3am, half an hour after Aitzaz Ahsan. The following day the superintendent said Malik was being transferred "to a 'better class', by which he meant B Class. Aitzaz threatened to bang his head against the wall until it bled if they removed me. They left." The superintendent was transferred, having apparently lost the trust of the agencies running the show. "The new Superintendent had a Taliban-style beard and no moustache," says Malik. "He is the man who was Yusuf Raza Gillani's, [PPP Leader] nemesis when he was in Jail. I was woken up at 2am and told he wanted to see me. We woke up Aitzaz. Hameed Gul (who was brought in with his son that day) offered to go with me, but I said no, Aitzaz is my leader. The superintendent said I was being transferred to Attock. Aitzaz again wanted to resist, but I refused. They would have taken me by force." At around 3am, Malik was put in a police mobile along with Siddique-ul-Farooque, [PML Leader], who was being sent to Bahawalpur Jail -- via Attock! Farooq had to endure the bumpy four-hour long ride to Attock, plus many more hours to Bahawalpur in the south. It was bitterly cold. The prisoners did not have adequate clothing. They arrived at Attock at 6.30 am, where plainclothesmen took Malik through a side gate, and into a room. "Inside was a mean-looking fellow, weighing about 200 pounds, with a shawl over his shoulders. He thumped his chest and said, 'You know who I am? I am the person against whom the first suo moto action was taken' [i.e. by Chief Justice of Pakistan]. He wanted to know where Hamid Khan (another former SCBA President) was -- he had said that if Musharraf's uniform would have to be peeled off if it was a 'second skin'." Uniformed policemen searched Malik so thoroughly "that if they had been looking for a needle in a haystack they would have found it." He was glad he had removed his money from his socks and handed it in (it was deposited into his account). He was finger printed and photographed like a criminal. Plainclothesmen then took him to the old part of the jail to an area marked 'Maut-yafta qaidiyon ke liye' - for prisoners condemned to death. "There was no one else there. They opened a cell and pushed me in." The cell was bare, with a high ceiling and a concrete slab for a bed. Malik was provided a rough blanket, a rug and a pillow. "At 8.30am, someone brought a bucket of tea and raw 'nan' (bread) which they offered through the bars. I refused it, saying I was on hunger strike -- that is something I learnt from Aitzaz, as a very effective means of protest in jail. I told them I was not a criminal; I was brought there under preventive detention, not charged with any offence." Malik used his account to get another blanket and a pillow, but was still cold. However, the cold was easier to endure than the isolation. "It was difficult to pass the day. At 4pm they lock you in until breakfast. You can only lie on the mattress and stare at the ceiling. I listened to the trains and reconciled their timings with my watch. The first train went by at 6am. I had no newspapers, nothing. I started scratching on the wall to record the days, to retain my sanity and sense of time. On the second day, I was still on hunger strike." The jail superintendent said Malik was not in solitary confinement, but there was no other accommodation. "I asked if I could have something to read, but for that, he said the orders would have to 'come from above'." At around 6 pm on Nov 7, Malik's solitary confinement ended, although he was allowed no visitors until four days after -- close family and one legal counsel (he appointed Tanvir Paracha, a local advocate). He was taken to the new portion of the jail, 'Pehra number four', a quadrangle with sixteen cells, about 8x4 feet each, with a concrete 'bed' slab. Malik was put in Cell no. 6, "the 'qusuri' cell meant for prisoners who had violated a jail rule or. They would be shackled if they were considered dangerous." Each cells could accommodate one person ("and even that was suffocating") but contained three to four prisoners each. They were sent elsewhere when Malik was brought in. Apparently the barrack was needed for lawyers and those resisting the emergency. Seven other lawyers were brought in at around 3am from Multan, having been picked up from courts. Others came in and were released over the coming weeks. One lawyer came in from Sahiwal. 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

Dec 9th, 2007

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"He was among the 41 who were injured during a torch-lit procession during the lawyers' movement to restore the chief justice. The police threw acid at them. His face was still disfigured. The Sahiwal bar has given the greatest sacrifices. The police filed an anti-terrorism case against them. The lawyers filed a direct complaint against police brutality. The Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court froze their file to protect the police," alleges Malik. Malik ended his hunger strike because the local PML-N representative, former MNA Sheikh Aftab sent breakfast for the prisoners. "He was very generous and sent food for all of us, even when at one point there were 26 of us (when PPP workers were arrested and brought in)." The first four cells of the barracks were apparently reserved for Nawaz Sharif: carpeted, air-conditioned bedroom with mattress, kitchen with fridge, study with table, and a bathroom. The bedroom was the only place with an electric socket where an ECG machine could be plugged in when a doctor from Attock General Hospital came to check the prisoners after newspapers reported that Malik was unwell. "He checked all the prisoners, we got to lie on the mattress for 30 minutes." They were allowed in the open courtyard from 7.30am till 4pm, but it was difficult to pass the time after being locked in for the night. The cell was cold and uncomfortable. Malik would fall asleep around 10pm. The light bulb hanging from the ceiling stayed on 24 hours. By Friday, Nov 9, Malik started getting ill. The jail doctor catered to 1,400 prisoners (the facility has a capacity of 340). The medicines prescribed were often not available in Attock, and someone had to go to Rawalpindi to purchase them. Malik's medication was frequently changed. It did not work, and he had to take sleeping pills at night. "When I had visitors, I had to say I was fine. It was for them to judge from my body language. There was always someone from ISI standing behind me and I feared repercussions. By the next Friday (Nov 16) I could feel the fluid shifting from one side to the other in my stomach. Specialists from outside hospitals came to see me. They all said I should be transferred to hospital, but no one did anything." One specialist extracted water from Malik's stomach with a syringe. Contrary to the impression of his family and friends, he was never transferred to the jail hospital. "By the third Friday (Nov 23) I was completely incoherent, unable to even get up." He doesn't remember much of the next couple of days, after being finally taken to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, Islamabad. By then, he was near death. Doctors say it is a miracle he survived. He has undergone dialysis four times since then. He was transferred from PIMS to the Sindh Institute of Urology & Transplant in Karachi, on Nov 29. He is still weak, but recovering and able to take a small daily walk. The doctors are still investigating whether any permanent damage has been inflicted on his kidneys. He still has trouble sleeping, as the tubes inserted for the dialysis procedure do not allow him to turn on his side. Many imprisoned lawyers around the country were released after they signed undertakings promising not to take part in politics. However, Malik received no such offer. In any case, he says that he "would have died rather than sign such an undertaking".

Artistic display of protest against PEMRA Ordinance

(Picture from a vigil for media freedom at the Karachi Press Club)
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