You have to stand guard over the development and maintenance of democracy, social justice and the equality of mankind in your own native soil. [Mohammed Ali Jinnah]

Saturday, December 15, 2007

SAC Hunger Strike Camp for the Freedom of GOR detainees

Lifting of Emergency not enough: Human Rights Watch

Source: Dawn

The US-based Human Rights Watch said Saturday that President Pervez Musharraf's end to the state of emergency in Pakistan would not restore real constitutional rule as it “provides legal cover to laws that muzzle the media and lawyers and gives the army a license to abuse.” Ali Dayan Hasan of HRW said in a statement: “a genuine restoration of Pakistan's constitution would require Musharraf to return to the constitution and judiciary that existed before November 3.” The HRW pointed to a series of decrees issued under emergency rule, including a ban on any later challenges to the legality of the emergency and an amendment to allow the military to try civilians. “The military is Pakistan's principal human rights abuser, yet Musharraf has changed the law so that it can play judge, jury and executioner,” Hasan said. HRW said the United States and Britain should speak up against the president, a key ally in the US-led “war on terror”. “Instead of playing along with Musharraf's power-grab, they should condemn his latest ploy for legitimacy,” the group said.

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Student Action Committee Lahore issues call for the 17th

Emergency lifted: nothing restored

We, the people, are the rightful masters of both congress and the courts - not to overthrow the constitution, but to overthrow men who pervert the constitution. - Abraham Lincoln

Even after the emergency has been lifted, the country is still under the stranglehold of the regime. The Student Action Committee (Lahore) will continue to fight for our country’s rights.

Without an independent and free minded judiciary, we the people will never have protection.

Without an unshackled media, we the people will never have a voice.

Join the Student Action Committee (Lahore) and other civil society groups in pushing through the barriers to freedom.

Come join us in a peaceful protest at Nasir Bagh on the 17th of December 2007 at 1 pm.

A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government. - Edward Abbey

Student Action Committee (Lahore)
Disclaimer: We are not affiliated with any political party, rather we represent the collective conscience of the students of Pakistan. Joins Us:

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By: Masood S Khan

There is someone (I think Ramsay Clark) who said ' A right is not something that is given to you but is something that cannot be taken away from '.

Well niether do we have any rights given to us and nor have we any rights that cannot be taken from us. This is the whole struggle. And the only thing/institution that can set this aspect right is an independent judiciary.

I beg to differ with you on the fact that we havent yet achieved anything. We, the civil society have achieved a lot. I feel sorry I was not there with you all then i.e. when the whole thing started with the Chief Justice standing up to the General in uniform and refusing to resign. Ever since, General Musharraf has been sliding down the pipe. The fact that he had climbed a whole lot in eight years indicates that it will take him sometime before he hits the bottom.

The fact that he, a man who would so boastfully say ' these rulers of the past i.e. Mian Nawaz Sharif and Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto have no role left in Pakistan and will never be allowed into Pakistan ever again' had to eat a humble pie and let them both back into Pakistan is a manifestation of the fact that General Musharraf is not the same General Musharraf that he was before the civil society took him on.

These two leaders owe their coming back to Pakistan to the civil society and not to their respective Parties. It is a great pity that, on one flimsy pretext or another, they both decided to participate in these elections and thus make Musharraf stable again rather than siding with the people of Pakistan. And this is why I resigned from the PPP even though i knew I had a lot to gain personally (after 10 years of sufferings of sorts) if they were to come to power.

Had these former rulers been correct in their thinking and sided with the civil society then Pakistan would have been put on course already - and the credit would all have been owed to the civil society. I said all this so that we do not succumb to the pressures that failures, real or percieved, bring about causing the demise of a perfect movement. We must push on - success for Pakistan is not far off. It cannot be far away if Pakistan has to retain it's very integrity - ITS THAT SERIOUS NOW. Personalities do not matter at all. We, leaders and the led, are all just stage actors. The generations to come matter.

The civil society to my mind is the vanguard today in the effort to save Pakistan. They will succeed if Pakistan has to survive. A new wave of leadership that is answerable to the people of Pakistan and not to outside powers with whom each one of us want good and very amicable relations that are based on dignity and self respect. Why do they have to choose personalities for us. We are a progressive people. Each one of us should be acceptable to them - as long as that person is acceptable and chosen by the people of Pakistan themselves. No sane man is going to take Pakistan on the path of destruction.

As far as the leadership of the civil society under detention is concerned they should do what no political party has ever done. Develop a credible second and third line leadership to act at such times. No political Party has done this ever and nor are they likely to do so in the future.

We must move and go forward. The progress may be very slow but we, the civil society, are not people who want destruction and rowdism in our protests. We should make ourselves be heard in a thousand different ingenious ways. AND WE WILL WIN.INSHA ALLAH. WE WILL WIN BECAUSE ALLAH THE ALMIGHTY WILL HELP US TO SECURE PAKISTAN AND IT'S FUTURE GENERATIONS

Karachi Rally for reinstatement of Judiciary, Dec 14th

People's Resistance a civilian group for the restoration of the judiciary and boycott of elections organized a public rally in cooperation with PTI and other political parties (APDM), Civil Society groups and NGO's from Regal Chowk in Karachi, to the Press Club (about 1 km) starting at 4:00 PM on Friday the 14th, 2007. There were lawyers, judges, laborers, women (Aurat Foundation and WAF) students, youth and HRCP.

Declaration by Pakistan's former ambassadors

(From former foreign secretary Shamshad Ahmad - we've already had similar declarations from a cross section of intellectuals and retired bureaucrats, retired Supreme Court judges, retired Sindh High Court judges and retired armed forces officers...)

We, as former ambassadors of Pakistan, deplore the imposition of the state of emergency and suspension of the Constitution by General (R) Pervez Musharraf. As the Supreme Court of Pakistan declared on 3 November, 2007, these steps, which amount to the imposition of martial law, are unconstitutional and illegal. Besides undermining the rule of law and delivering a severe blow to the independence of judiciary, they have dangerously destabilised the country. They also have incurred international opprobrium and badly tarnished Pakistan's image.

We, therefore, demand:
  • Immediate restoration of the Constitution and the judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts as constituted before the declaration of emergency on 3 November 2007.
  • Formation of neutral caretaker Cabinets at the Federal and Provincial levels and reconstitution of the Election Commission to ensure the holding of free, fair and transparent elections to the National and Provincial Assemblies.
  • Immediate release of all persons imprisoned or detained under the emergency, including judges, lawyers, journalists, students and others.
  • Full restoration of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution and the lifting of all restrictions imposed on the media.
  • Strict adherence by the armed forces to their oath and constitutional role, in accordance with the directives given by the Quaid-e-Azam.
  • Strict application of the principle of accountability of holders of public office.
We call upon the parties and the candidates participating in the elections to make a solemn commitment to treat the reinstatement of the judges of the superior judiciary as the top priority issue after the elections.

The nation also expects that political parties and members of future national and provincial legislatures would adhere to recognized democratic norms in their future conduct and pay serious attention to the overcoming of the daunting challenges facing the nation.

We express our deep appreciation to the judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts who refused to take oath under the PCO, the lawyers for leading the movement for the restoration of the rule of law, the journalists for resisting the regime's efforts to gag the media and the human rights activists, students and other members of civil society for lending their full support to the democratic movement.

We express our solidarity with the nation in its demand for the full restoration of democratic and constitutional rule in the country.

1. Mr. Riaz Piracha, former Foreign Secretary
2. Dr. Humayun Khan, former Foreign Secretary
3. Tanvir A. Khan, former Foreign Secretary
4. Shamshad Ahmad, former Foreign Secretary
5. Riaz H. Khokhar, former Foreign Secretary
6. Dr. S M Koreshi
7. Gul Haneef
8. Amin Jan Naim
9. Touqir Hussain
10. Karamatullah Khan Ghori
11. Amir Usman
12. Javid Hussain
13. S. Azmat Hassan
14. Naeem U. Hassan
15. Shafqat Ali Shaikh
16. Karam Elahi
17. Afzal Akbar Khan
18. Mazhar Qayyum
19. Asif Ezdi
20. S. Iftikhar Murshed
21. Iqbal A. Khan
22. Shirin Safdar
23. B.A. Malik

Islamabad, 13 December 2007