All of you must be aware of the political situation in
This is not all. Musharraf has categorically said that the judiciary will not be reinstated. In fact his response to a question by Washington Post was "What Judges...they ill never be reinstated." Dr. Nasim Ashraf, on the Capitol Hill, in front of the Congress members and the other educated and informed members of society said that the judiciary was deposed because the Supreme Court started meddling with the functions of the government. Can we let a simple question "Is deposing a whole institution compared to seeking constitutional redress a better solution to a misconducting judiciary " go unasked? There are other questions too like "How can free and fair elections be conducted in a situation where assembly is banned, Election Commission and the interim government is not partial, 70% of the Supreme Court judges remain deposed?"; "How the rights of the citizens are protected when there is no institution that can redress their grievances?" Someone needs to ask these questions.
Call for participation in Student Action Committee: Therefore, in an endeavor to facilitate collective action,I am calling to organize a Student Action Committee (SAC-US chapter). The group will essentially be a part of the Students Action Committee (
Why Should we Participate? A lot of us are skeptical of participating in this struggle because we have all been disappointed by the political parties which will eventually form the government. There is good reason for skepticism but the need to take collective action is greater than that. Our objective is not to depose one government and bring another. The responsibility of making the government accountable to civil society also lies with us. This is the first time in the last four decades that judiciary and media have agitated for independence as institutions. If they (and consequently, we) win this struggle then the political process emerging out of this struggle would not be the same as before, even if the people in the government remain the same. This is about time we realize that democracy is not about people but institutions, that we should stop depending on 'goodness' of the individuals and depend on ourselves by building sound and strong civil society. And students are at the base of any civil society. The only point of democracy is that everyone has a voice. And, if we choose not to exercise that right now, its our fault; why do we even ask for democracy and how are we going to sustain a democracy if it emerges at any point in
Very few nations get a chance to reconstitute. We have one now. We are taking advantage of it, as the lawyers, students and other civil society activists in
Open House to Discuss "Why Should we Participate? and What Should you Expect from this Participation": If you are still skeptical, please join to discuss the pros and cons, advantages and disadvantages of participation in this group on Dec 26th at 3:00 pm. Venue is
Short-term Activities of the Group:
The group will essentially be involved in the following short term activities:
coordinating/organizing a protest on Jan 7 before the elections in
holding press conferences and attending events in academic and non-academic institutions to make sure that we register our point of view
conducting campus-wide events to raise awareness amongst students about the situation in
Promoting advocacy on the Hill and other international organizations that protect civil rights
promoting media relations which would include maintaining a blog, coordinating with SAC (
drafting a sample letter with a fact sheet regarding current situation in Pakistan that can be sent to the Congress members; distributing the letter to the people so that they can send this letter to the Congress members in their respective districts to apprise them of the correct situation in Pakistan (A few meetings with Congress members have shown that they do not know what the real situation is)
Please distribute this call widely. We need to get the skeleton of the group together before the protest on Jan 7th. I know this is a short notice and it is during the holidays but that just means that we have to put in a little more effort at a little more cost. Please let me know if you are willing to participate, the extent and nature of your participation. In case we get better response that expected we can always form sub-committees regionally with a headquarter.
Additional Information: If you have any questions, please feel free to email me. My cell number is 703 663 0960. I would be more than happy to discuss and/or answer your concerns/questions. I would also encourage you to visit the following sites for current information on recent events in
Discussion by Pakistani Lawyers and Human Rights Activist at
Audio conference of house arrested judges with San Francisco Bar Association: https://cc.readytalk.com/cc/playback/Playback.do
Hope to hear from you soon and Happy Holidays!