Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Student Action Committee USA launched

We have finally formally launched SAC-US chapter. There is a group of students from DC, Boston, Florida and New York, but hopefully we will get more support. Our blog is set up as follows: http://studentactioncommitteeusa.wordpress.com/

Our short term activities are as follows:

Members will organise awareness-raising events on campuses in her or his area. At least one event will be held by the second week of February.

Members will organise protests following the awareness-raising events. Protests in different areas will be staged simultaneously shortly before the elections in Pakistan.

SAC will collaborate with other organisations to promote advocacy on Capitol Hill, Washington, DC. An event is being planned on the Hill, tentatively scheduled for 7 February.

SAC will begin cultivating a long-term relationship with the US media, starting by distributing a press release to media contacts in the second week of January.

SAC will communicate, and establish a working relationship, with SAC Lahore and SAC Islamabad.

The principles that SAC-US agreed on are as follows:

Establishment of an independent Election Commission and independent interim government before the upcoming Pakistani elections can take place.

Lifting of all restrictions (including restrictions on spot checks, random visits to the polling stations) on agencies that are monitoring elections in Pakistan before the elections. The government should also make sure that international monitors can reach Pakistan well in time before the elections to monitor the pre-poll process.

Restoration of the Pakistani judiciary to its status pre-November 3, 2007.

Release of all political prisoners in Pakistan, including lawyers, judges, students, civil rights activists, and political party workers.

Lifting of all restrictions on the media, including Code of Conduct for the Press and PEMRA ordinance, so that the media can broadcast live political events, rallies, and political debates.

Lifting of all restrictions on right to assembly, right to effectively campaign, and right to protest before the elections.

We will be issuing a press release in the second week of January InshAllah to the US media to whatever contacts we can gather till then. The press release will be aimed at introducing SAC and their stance/principles/demands to the US media.

Student Action Committee USA

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