Thursday, December 13, 2007

Teacher Action Committee formed, issues statement

Following a couple of meetings, the teachers from various schools, colleges and universities including PU, FAST, LGS, LUMS, NCA, BNU, LACAS, FCC and GCU unanimously decided to form a Teachers Action Committee (TAC). The aim of TAC is to provide a nonpartisan forum where teachers can discuss issues pertaining to their profession and their role in society. These issues include our tiered education system and standard of education among others. But currently, the foremost being raising our voices against the illegal imposition of martial law (called emergency rule) and the brutal oppression by state authorities to suppress any voices calling for the rule of law and freedom of expression. Our silence is not an option in the face of this state brutality, especially now that the judiciary has been dismissed and the constitution violated.

The Teachers Action Committee vehemently condemns the FIR lodged against 14 members of the Punjab University academic staff and 4 professors and 2 students of LUMS under sections 124-A, 188, 143/149, 16-MPO and 7 ATA (charge of terrorism). We demand that the state also withdraw cases against PU faculty members as has already been done for LUMS faculty. We stand in complete solidarity with our fellow academics and students who have been subjected to harassment and intimidation. We strongly believe that safeguarding freedom of thought and expression is a fundamental principle of our profession. Thus repressive tactics by the state and restrictions on freedom of speech and peaceful protest by administrations are in direct violation of the principles of our profession and the Pakistani constitution.

We pledge to raise our collective voice to protect and win the constitutional freedoms of our citizens especially teachers and students and we invite all teachers to join us in this long struggle.

We demand

1. An immediately end to faculty and student harassment for exercising their constitutional right to free speech and peaceful protest. We demand institutional administrations to protect the constitutional rights of students and faculty.

2. September 2nd judiciary and constitution to be restored immediately.

3. All political prisoners to be released immediately.

4. Lifting of all curbs on the media.

5. Free, fair and transparent elections. We consider the current manipulated election process to be neither free nor fair.

6. An immediate lifting of martial law, army returning permanently to the barracks and the abrogation of changes to Military Law.

With this we take the first step towards a brighter future of our country.

Teacher Action Committee.


Anonymous said...

It is very heartening to see the teacher following the Student Action Committee's example. It eases some of the burden of expectations put on SAC, and also opens up the possibility of more effective mobilization.

SAC alone cannot mobilize enough students. Its when both students and teachers join hands that any change can be brought about in the thought and action of the educated classes.

Pakistan Affairs Desk said...

That would be the NOVEMBER 3rd judiciary. Did something happen on September 3rd that I missed?

Aman said...