Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Demo outside Karachi Press Club

Around 60 people gathered outside the Karachi Press Club at 03:00 p.m. today to register their protests against the treatment meted out to the Students Action Committee (SAC) rally in Islamabad. The demonstration was jointly organised by the CMKP and the Labour Party of Pakistan (LPP). The call was endorsed by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), International Socialists Pakistan (ISPak), and Peoples Resistance (PR).

Policemen and Rangers personnel had brutally baton-charged and tear-gassed an SAC rally in Islamabad on December 17. Scores were injured, and 40 were arrested. Sixteen of them are yet to be released, and FIRs have been lodged against all of them under Section 144 of the PPC. Tuesday's demonstration in Karachi condemned the State's unprovoked (yes, unprovoked) brutality in Islamabad.

The police mysteriously stayed away from us today, though, even though the demo would count as "agitation." In any case, the best part of the entire demo was that it was a total surkha scene, full of slogans in favour of a Socialist inquilaab! A lot of anti-Musharraf slogans were shouted, including the usual "lathi goli ki sarkar" and "mukk gya tera show Musharraf."

A number of Sindhi naaras also came up. There was one that sounded like: "Musharraf-e-khosa -- Jehova!" (Forgive me for mistakes here please!) We are extremely grateful to everyone who responded to the call at such a short notice, and we apologise for the timings ka confusion. *embarrassed cough*

All in all, it was a VERY successful demonstration. The message that was sent across was clear: We will NOT tolerate the State's bullshit anymore. Wanton brutality is NOT going to stop us. The struggle is going to continue until the judiciary is restored to the pre-November 3 status, and True Democracy is implemented in the country. The State cannot hide behind lies anymore. We know that the lifting of the Martial Law and the upcoming elections are all a farce. We refuse to be fooled anymore. Above all, today's demonstration was another response to The Turd (aka General Musharraf) ka statement about how "agitation would not be tolerated." As always, here's a message to The Turd: "No agitation? UP YOURS, General!!!" :-P The battle has just begun, comrades, and we have to prepare ourselves for a long war. Let's SOCK it to the oppressors!!!

Kiunkey ZINDA hai yeh qaum -- Zinda hai!!! Power to the People!!!

In Complete Solidarity

APDM vows to continue struggle

(Courtesy GEO News)
Chief Muttahida Majlis-e-Ammal, Qazi Hussain Ahmed has said that a country-wide movement has been started for boycotting the upcoming elections.Addressing All Parties Democratic Movement’s first convention here on Tuesday, Qazi said the January 8 polls are a fake and, therefore, urged all the parties to boycott the same. He also appealed to the people not to participate in the elections process.

APDM demands restoration of 1973 Constitution to the position of pre-October 1999.

On the occasion, Chairman Tehreek-i-Insaf, Imran Khan, said Nawaz Sharif, Benazir Bhutto and Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman are engaged in strengthening President Pervez Musharraf and that they have betrayed the nation as well as lawyers and judges.Chief of Pashtunkhwa Mili Awami Party, Mehmood Achakzai, Chief Sindh Taraqi Pasand Party, Dr. Qadir Magsi, Rasool Buksh Paleejo, Hai Baloch, Abid Hussain Munto, Hamid Gul, Hamid Khan, Ghulam Mustafa Khar and other leaders also spoke on the occasion. All of them announced to continue the struggle against dictatorship.

A joint announcement was also issued on the occasion which demanded restoration of 1973 Constitution and judiciary, media’s freedom of expression, supremacy of parliament, halting the continuing military operations in different parts of the country, resolving Balochistan issue through dialogue, granting of autonomy to the provinces and relinquishment of the President’s post by Pervez Musharraf.

The Real Chief Justice condemns police action in Islamabad

Deposed Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Monday strongly condemned the brutal torture of Media, Students and Civil Society by the police outside the Judges Enclave. Atharminallah, eminent lawyer an e-mail of the deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, who vowed to continue his struggle for the supremacy of law and the Constitution. In the email, the deposed Chief Justice, expressing his solidarity with all the segments of the society, promised, " We will fight till last breath for the supremacy of 'un-tampered' Constitution of 1973 and rule of law". In his message to the Lawyers community, civil society, media and 160 million people in every corner of the country said that these atrocities by police agencies and Govt can never demoralize the judges who refused to take oath under provisional constitutional order on November 3.Terming the Monday's police brutality "Barbaric act" on innocent people outside the Judges Enclave the deposed Chief Justice in his mail said that it was a vicious act committed by the police and other agencies by torturing peaceful demonstrators. "Peaceful protest is right of every citizen of Pakistan as freedom of expression is enshrined under 1973 constitution" the deposed Chief Justice wrote in his mail."Look at the state of condition within a week, blasts in Quetta, Nowshera and Kohat, but the police and agencies are deputed to arrest women, torture students, lawyers and media men protesting for the rule of law," he wrote. Strongly condemning act of torture on civil society, the deposed Chief Justice wrote that the Police and other Agencies are only focussing on arresting Chief Justice of Pakistan, judges and lawyers, where as wanted men can escape from their custody as only two or three policemen are there to guard them."It is highly deplorable and barbaric act of Government, which exposes its weakness and nervousness" he maintained, adding "Is Martial law or so called emergency lifted or it appears mere rhetoric"

Darkness, Light and Eid

Fellows in prison, day and night, and the approach of Eid

Omer. G
My thoughts scatter tonight. As I pen these words, seven days into its cycle, somewhere the moon must be shining, bright and beautiful. Back on earth, the circumstances do not look too heartening. On the wings of the wind, news has reached us that thirty or so of our friends in the great green city of Islamabad linger in the sobering darkness of prison cells. I saw the moon early this evening. It must still be shining. Somehow I cannot find it now when I need it. Is it hiding behind those tall hostel buildings? Maybe, it is being blinded out by the atrocious, unceasing lights that flood our campus all night. This moment, however, all I have before me are a few dim, scattered stars to console an unsettled heart. Noble celestial beings, oldest veterans of the fight against darkness! If you would but peep into the dark cells of my detained fellows, lift their spirits and lighten their woes.

Amidst the darkness, another thought flashes. Why does the Quran repeatedly remind its reader of the recurring cycle of the moon, of days merging seamlessly into nights and nights merging into days. The Quran brings our mind to think about these and, over the centuries, the exegetes responded by penning volumes. Poets probed these phenomena in their own way. Even Kant, the rationalist German philosopher, felt that the starry heavens filled his mind with an ever new and increasing admiration and awe.

To me, tonight the heavens appear unusually dark, in more than one way. Whatever stars there are will be gone by the last hour, which draws nigh. Then, before the end, a new beginning must come. Every night, dawn manages to intervene just in time. I find this a comforting thought. There remains, however, this eternally dreaded possibility: what if the forces of darkness that loom large on this earth can capture these celestial luminaries and permanently blacken them out. That reminds me of Tolkien who, in his fantactic but profound imaginary world, deals beautifully with this thought.

In the bleak and deadening darkness of Mordor, Samwise Gamgee - that simple peasant hobbit, who despite his humble origins emerged as a figure of great moral and spiritual insight – beholds a single shining star. “The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.” I dearly hope that before they vanish, the moon and the stars would provide our incarcerated friends with that same clear and cold assurance - that the Shadow is only a small and passing thing.

For others, the playful little growing moon now heralds the coming to blossom of Eid season. From afar, some of us can already smell the appetizing aroma of festive food and the pleasing fragrances that beautiful humans wear on happy occasions. Beleaguered judges and lawyers still stand defiant against the encroaching oppression of an increasingly authoritarian state; some face the imminent threat of eviction from their homes this Eid; even worse, they face the very real prospect of being forgotten by the nation for which they sacrificed their careers. They and our companions, in the loneliness of their cells, can neither see the moon nor smell the merriment and gaiety of Eid as it approaches.

In the borderless vastness of Arafat, pilgrims will soon gather to importune their Lord, and be remembered of the ultimate reckoning that shall befall all, without exception. Let us bear witness with them, as Prophet Abraham witnessed before us, at great peril to his life that ultimate power belongs to Allah alone, and to no human, no matter how powerful and mighty. Let us join them as we pray for the coming of better days, the return of a spring of justice, human dignity and freedom. Let us pray for strength and courage enough to tear apart the walls of injustice that surround us and our friends in these testing times.

Pictures from the Islamabad Rally