Saturday, November 10, 2007

CNN Hails Pakistani Student Blogs

Copyrights: CNN

IMP! New York Times calls for eye witness accounts!

The following is an excerpt from the New York times:

A Call for Eyewitness Photos, Video and Text From Pakistan
By Robert Mackey

With opposition protests blocked by the authorities in Pakistan, is asking readers in Pakistan to help us report on events in the country by sending us eyewitness accounts of protests in photographs, video or text.
To submit a picture, please send it by e-mail to the following address: — and let us know when and where the photograph was taken and what it depicts. Please also include your name, but if you would prefer not to be identified, let us know that as well.
To submit written descriptions of events, please use the comments field at the foot of this page. To submit video, please use the form below and provide the same information.

(The emergency times- Eds The for is available on the website the link of which is given below. Please do send all videos pictures and accounts to NYT, it would make a world of difference.)

CNN hails students bloggers!

Bloggers have played such a key role in this current crisis that CNN has produced a special report on this today. has been shown as a frontrunner in creating awareness, among others.

(The emergency times eds- We will be trying our level best to upload the video among others at the blog as soon as possible mean while please use the links)

Student Bloggers on ABC News!

Following are excerpts from the ABC News website which has lauded the student mobilisation efforts here in Pakistan. The link is:

Resisting Martial Law (Just Don't Tell Mom)
Under Media Blackout, Young Pakistani Bloggers Spread News on the Web

Pakistan's fastest-growing guerrilla force is less worried about getting jailed by President Pervez Musharraf than getting in trouble with mom and dad.

Amid a media crackdown that has knocked TV news off the air and threatened journalists who criticize Musharraf with jail terms, Pakistani students have come together over the Internet. But please don't tell their parents.

They're finding new ways to meet virtually in a country where police are brutally putting down street protests.

"I can't talk on this line. It's probably under surveillance," Rashid, a leading student activist at Lahore University of Management Sciences tells me when I reach him on his mobile phone. He calls back a minute later from another line. Like other students interviewed, he only wanted to be identified by one name.

Rashid and a group of friends have launched the Emergency Times (, a daily newsletter that provides legal explanation, commentary and regular updates of Pakistan's widening political crisis.

"When martial law was imposed, we decided we had to do something," he explains.

The first edition set out to analyze Musharraf's legal explanation for suspending the Constitution. It started getting passed around by e-mail, and before long, students all over the country were getting in contact, wanting more information. Pakistanis studying abroad also got in, flooding Rashid with requests for news.

Less than a week since emergency rule was imposed, they are handing out hundreds of copies of Emergency Times a day on the Lahore campus. The Web edition is e-mailed to thousands -- no one knows exactly how many. "Now we are updating it constantly," says Rashid.

In a country where half the population is illiterate and only 12 percent have access to the Internet, Rashid now wants to get their daily report into the Urdu print and radio media. "We believe we have a role, as students, to play in all of this," he says.

Under martial law, there's no freedom of speech or right to gather. Young Pakistanis who fear arrest if they meet in person are coming together in a host of chat rooms to discuss the political crisis --

A colorful expression of student consciousness

Pictures from the student Protest in Fast

Pictures from Islamabad and Peshawar

Bleak news from Pindi

Message from Aasim Sajjad in Pindi:

situation in pindi/isb is very bleak. they have shut down pindi completely
and people are in hiding. make sure you make mention of this escalation in
the repression in your press releases today.

As you can see form the above posted pictures, things are going form bad to worse. PPP protesters were literally stranded and police brutalities seem to know no limits.

For the legitimate Supreme Court

The government has taken down the names and bios of the SC judges from
the official website of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. I have acquired
the domain name which I plan to
maintain as the website for the constitutional Supreme Court. I would
appreciate if someone can give me the names and the bios of the
Honorable Justices. You might have it cached with Google Desktop.
Please forward to relevant people if you can. I

Let's make History

Will it work this time? All these protests, with all the risk they are taking – will it mean something? Will it be different this time?
The short answer is, "I don't know," but I am going to tell you this:
I am too busy resisting all day and coordinating online to waste time thinking "What if?"
In fact, I have stopped trying to pick arguments online. If the person is receptive, fine, else move on and do something useful elsewhere. Time is valuable. And quite frankly even if this does not succeed, it will have changed the face of the top universities of our country. THAT won’t go away easily. It will have changed the upper middle class! THAT wont go away easily either. It's a paradigm shift, what is happening today. It's like a communal memory. People will remember this time and use it as a precedent for further resistances. It doesn't matter if this one fails! It will become a symbol and a teacher for the next one! It will be a thorn in the side of corrupt politicians and general for a long long time - this attitude of ours that we are spreading. Every time someone tries to kill the media or the judiciary or play soccer with the constitution, THESE memories will rise up
Our sweet little la la land slumbers are over.
If you have read any history you will realize that we have already sown the seeds of resistance for DECADES to come. Pakistani political landscape has been changed forever. It might take a long time, but it has started. It begins, nay it BEGAN here. And we are the focus, the originators, and the center.
We are making history. (Good God!)
Even BB, who was all set to join up with Mush, with Amreeka behind her, has had to come out and say, we will protest and have rallies. You think she would have done that without the international outcry? Without the lawyer's rallies? Without the students rising up on their campuses?
And now, whether she likes it or not, looks like her party and all the political leverage it has, has been allied to the cause of the lawyers. (Hopefully!)
It is time.
Let's make history.

Why I protest

Denial of political space under any form of government, whether it is
a dictatorship or under the guise of democracy must never be tolerated
and is to be rejected. To protest against it is necessary, even if it
is futile to do so. To register that one is against such an action is
imperative, otherwise you are simply chunked in with the so-called
"silent" majority that apparently approves of everything.

I know that my protesting will not bring about change and I know the
risks involved, but I also know that if I do not speak up, if I do not
ask for my rights, I do not ask for the proper checks and balances and
the choice to stand up and shout, shout and inform the world that I
dissent, I disagree , that this right will be taken away from me and I
will be made forever silent.

I know my protests will not bear fruit, but if we all protest I can at
least hope that we may be able to beat the odds and bring change.

No leader is "socially benevolent", let us all be very clear about
that. They will all seek to exploit us and deny us our God-given
rights. It is therefore our duty, not towards this land we call our
country, not to towards the spirits of a few good dead men we call our
our founding fathers, it is a duty towards ourselves to stand up and
be heard. If we don't demand our rights, no one will give them to us
in charity. This is why I protest, this is why we should all protest.

We MUST speak up...

They first came
for the Communists
I didn't speak up
because I wasn't
a Communist

Then they came
for the Jews
I didn't speak up
because I wasn't a Jew

Then they came
for the homosexuals
and I didn't speak up
because I wasn't
a homosexual

Then they came
for the Catholics
and I didn't speak up
because I was
a Protestant

Then they came
for me
but by that time
there was no one
left to speak up

- Martin Niemoller, detainee at a Nazi Germany concentration camp.

At the moment, it may seem like this 'emergency plus' has no impact on
your lives. You go to school or work, you do your job, you get your
pay, you go home, have dinner, and the day is over. Somewhere in the
middle, you watch some TV or read the paper and notice that people are
protesting and being beaten up or tear gassed. Some of you will think
it's the right thing to do but you wouldn't do it yourself. Others
will think those protesting are crazy and stupid; nothing is going to
change anyway. Others will just change the channel or turn to the
sports page in the paper.

Why are people bothered about this emergency business? Let's think
about that, almost a week since it was declared. The reason is
actually very simple. The Provisional Constitutional Order issued by
Musharraf takes away every right you could claim to have had a week
ago. You can be arrested for anything or nothing at all. You can be
charged with treason because you happened to say, 'I don't like
Musharraf'. If arrested, you could be held without trial. You would
not be tried by a jury of your peers. You would not have the right of
habeas corpus. You can not assemble, you can not speak your mind, you
have no right to property or even to life.

No one has the right to tell you that you are incapable of democracy.
No one has the right to tell you who your next Prime Minister will be.
No one has the right to tell you that you can not dissent. And no one
ever has the right to hurt innocent people.

This affects you every day. You may not see it, but tomorrow, it
MIGHT. Ten years form now, it MIGHT affect your children. Maybe in 20
years, your children will ask you, 'What's voting? Why didn't you do
something to stop this man from taking away your rights?' How will you
answer them? Would you rather they asked, 'What is martial law?' Would
you rather be able to tell them that you'll take them voting the next

This is our country, a part of our identity. We owe it a great deal
and it is about time we gave something back. It is time to come out of
the shell and make an effort, an extraordinary one. And not just for
the end of this 'emergency' but also for the long term, to bring an
end to injustice, to guarantee our rights, and to keep the army where
it belongs - protecting our country.

What good will this do?

Bol kay lab azaad hain teray…

As our state-apparatus crumbles and clouds of despairing dust rise from its remains, many turn a skeptical gaze at the groups of students, lawyers, academicians and journalists who refuse to be blind, dumb and deaf, and question what good is their war of words against brutal force, their voice of reason against a regime drugged on power and demand for justice against those unaware of its meaning?

A moment of reflection will reveal that this doubt and skepticism in itself traces the roots of the quagmire in which we stand today and vividly reveals the reasons for our arrested development, passivity and inability to fight the forces that brutally snatch our rights. It’s a product of our enslaved minds furnished in suffocated political environments, tuned to submit to powers that intimidate us.

Is it just good enough to recognize our inabilities and silently recoil in our futile comfort zones? Certainly not… this very recognition is the signal that the time is ripe to bring about a meaningful change. This martial law has hurled before us our weaknesses and incapacities as a nation (after all it is said that we get rulers that we deserve); and at a time when our present like a crystal ball spells out the mistakes of the past and presents a future teeming with numerous possibilities to undo those mistakes, we should grab the opportunity to contribute a little part of ourselves for our collective dreams and visions that define (the Real and True) Pakistan. And the courageous protests of our, lawyers, academicians and journalists should be seen as an inchoate struggle ripe with potentials to grow into a movement that will win us our rights, freedoms, and opportunities to grow as wholesome individuals.

As pointed out by Mehreen Zahra Malik (a graduate of LUMS and News Editor of Friday Times) in her exemplary article “Speak now or forever hold your peace” (Daily Times, Nov, 9th issue) that the purpose of these trans-national protests is not strategic but expressive. They should not be evaluated on the basis of capitalistic and materialistic “rational calculus”(qtd. from the aforementioned article) but on their moral force, giving opportunities to ambitious individuals to unite their ideas, intellectualism and vision into a dynamic force possessing the potential to overturn an impending crisis and become a universal symbol of unity, peace and justice. In times of phenomenal technological and global communication possibilities each of us has a chance to contribute and change. So let’s shed off our corroding pessimism and rise up for action… the New World Order gives us all a chance to become heroes!!