Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Musharraf leaving to meet Saudi Monarch (and Nawaz?)

"(AGI) - Riyadh, 19 November - Pakistani President, Pervez Musharraf, will be in Saudi Arabia tomorrow to meet with King Abdullah and he may hold talks with former Pakistani premier and leader of the opposition, Nawaz Sharif, who lives in exile in the Kingdom. The visit has been announced in Riyadh by the official Saudi news agency SPA. This will be Musharraf's first visit abroad since he announced the state of emergency on 3 November. In the Pakistani media, a possible encounter between Musharraf and Sharif was announced with Saudi mediation. Collaborators of the ex-premier have announced that the only purpose for the meeting could be the finalization of a strategy for the unconditional political retreat of the Pakistani president. Sharif has indicated that he has already refused the request to meet Musharraf twice."

APDM calls country-wide strike on Nov 23

All Parties Democratic Movement held a meeting today in Islamabad which was attended by 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 Pervaiz Musharraf.

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 peoples verdict. This fundamental question of ‘Who Owns Pakistan’ must be decided once and for all.
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 the security forces

Imran Khan on Hunger Strike

(Courtesy AFP)

Pakistani cricket hero Imran Khan began a hungerstrike Monday in the prison where he was sent last week for protesting against emergency rule, his spokesman told AFP.He said Khan, who now heads his own opposition party, wanted a restoration of the constitution and reinstatement of judges sacked when Persident Pervez Musharraf imposed the emergency just over two weeks ago."Imran Khan has gone on hunger strike for an indefinite period,"spokesman Saifullah Niazi said."He is demanding the restoration of the judiciary and restoration of the constitution," Niazi said. 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 atleast seven years and up to life in prison.Khan had been put under house arrest after emergency rule was declared on November 3 but slipped the net and went into hiding, communicating via email and video.He was arrested after emerging from hiding last Wednesday at a university campus in the eastern city of Lahore. Lahore police said then that he would face charges for inciting people to pick up arms, calling for civil disobedience and "spreading hatred." Khan, who led Pakistan to cricket World Cup glory in 1992, had called for Musharraf to face the death penalty for imposing emergency rule.

There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, butthere must never be a time when we fail to protest - Elie Wiesel

Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible; but man'sinclination to injustice makes democracy necessary - Reinhold Niebuhr

Videos of London Protest, 19th Nov

Videos of the protest in London on the 19th of November, featuring interviews with British MP George Galloway and Jemima Khan are available on http://pkpolitics.com/2007/11/18/protest-at-london-embassy-18-november-07/#more-739 .

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.

Musharraf's Supreme Court dismisses challenges to his Rule

The Dogar-headed Supreme Court on Monday threw out five major challenges to President Musharraf's re-election, leaving one to be heard later in the week, the attorney general told AFP. “There were five petitions, they have all been dismissed. There is only one left and that will be heard on Thursday,” attorney general Malik Mohammad Qayyum told AFP. The PPP earlier said that it had withdrawn its challenge as they did not recognize the sham courts sworn in under the emergency rule. It was not clear if the appeal filed by the PPP was among those that had been dismissed.

LUMS Students hold Flash Protest in DHA

Around 20-25 students from LUMS had a flash demo in Defence Market, H Block on Monday. They assembled at the spot at around 4 PM, wearing black armbands and carrying pamphlets pertaining to the nature of their cause. They then undertook a round of the Market, raising slogans and distributing the pamphlets as they went along. A significant crowd gathered in the market to witness the procession, with many bystanders joining in the sloganeering. Around five minutes into the procession, the students dispersed, amid reports that the police were arriving. Overall, the protest was a huge success, with a heartening response from the bystanders witnessing it.
The movement continues..

In Complete Unity

Protest at Aabpara, Islamabad

A demonstration attended by students, political organizations and civil society members was held at Aabpara chowk at 3:00 p.m. There were many slogans heard but soon the protest shifted venue to Geo’s office in Blue Area. Journalists spoke at length with regard to the curbs placed on the media as well as the various abductions of journalists. The police stood watching complacently and even smiled shyly at the occasional "Police ko azad karo (Free the police)" slogans.Later in the day, a meeting was held to discuss further action. A student action committee was formed which had sub-committees within it for greater mobilization and organization. The agenda is nearly finalized and we hope to see pamphlets being printed and distributed soon.