Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Dr. Afgan manhandled, rescued by Aitzaz

LAHORE: Former federal minister, Dr. Sher Afgan Niazi has been rescued safely by President Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Aitzaz Ahsan. Enraged lawyers tore up Dr. Afgan’s clothes and attacked him by throwing stones and shoes. They also shaterred the windows of the ambulance in which Dr. Afgan was being taken away from the site of the incident.
Earlier, a large number of lawyers laid a siege around the office of Dr. Afgan’s lawyer when he came to visit him. The police present at the scene failed to create a safe passage for Dr. Afgan and he remained confined in the office for about three hours.
Later, President SCBA Aitzaz Ahsan arrived here to control the situation and disperse the lawyers. Although he asked the enraged lawyers and others to leave the place, they continued to wait for Dr. Afgan to come out.
Eventually, Dr. Afgan came out of the building and escorted by Aitzaz Ahsan. Struggling through the crowd they made their way to an Edhi ambulance with the help of police.As soon as Dr. Afgan got inside the ambulance, Aitzaz Ahsan mounted the rooftop of the vehicle which was then driven slowly away from the crowd.
Later, Aitzaz Ahsan resigned from the post of SCBA President.

(Courtesy GEO)

SAC and workers stage demo against price hike

In the first step of hopefully a long lasting and fair alliance, students and workers stood as one outside Data Darbar on Sunday.
The Student Action Committee alongside trade unions, the CMKP, and the Labor party organized a demonstration on the price hike. Starting at 4 pm sharp, adjacent to the main Data Sahib entrance, the entrancing sound of the dhols, accompanying loud impassioned slogans could be heard. Ranging from “bhukaay reh gayay mein teh tou, lutt keh laigaya GHQ” to “Roti mehengi hai hai...kafan bhi mehenga hai hai” the slogans highlighted the problems that the country was facing with the constantly rising food inflation, energy crisis, expensive education and low wage rates.
While the police tried to separate the passerby’s from the demonstration, students actively tried to cross the physical barricades present and tried engaging the watching populace with rousing slogans and highlighting that this demonstration was for everyone. That it was a platform for every citizen to use to make his or her voice heard.
Communist Mazdoor Kisaan Party member and Student Action Committee representative Ali Jan delivered a rousing speech where he delineated reasons behind the fiscal problems that nation as a people were facing. “…state needs to enter the economy and control the free hand of the multinational companies, the World Bank and the IMF” said the leftist student.
Abdullah Malik, a seasoned lawyer who has been at the forefront of the lawyers movement and has supported the f students and other segments of society who have been fighting against the regime also spoke at this demonstration. He said “The polices of the previous government regarding the IMF and the World Bank reduced the people to the point of suicide because of poverty”. According to Abdullah Malik, the new government should make policies keeping the debilitating poverty in mind, and the promises made to reinstate student unions, trade unions, free media and restoration of the judiciary should be fulfilled. While lawyers, media, students and concerned people from all walks of life will work together as a watch dog and will laud positive polices; these very factions of society will wage a war against policies that harm any segment of society.
Representing the Student Action Committee, Sundas Hurrain reached out to the people in a speech that emphasized that there was no such thing as an aam admi as everyone was equal and in order to get rid of socio economic disparity, students and workers will need to collaborate and join forces against injustices and poverty.
The demonstration lasted an hour and engaged people who were initially just bystanders and eventually crossed the barriers and participated full throatedly in the price hike demonstration.