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]

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

CJ (the real one) hits out at police action

(Is it still a surprise that Pakistanis love Honorable Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry who was able to somehow get his message across even while being in house arrest and having very limited means of communication to the outside world. Without him it is really unclear who us Pakistanis should go to seek justice from.)

Source: TheNews

Deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has termed the police torture on peaceful protesters as 'barbaric act' of the government and reiterated his unflinching support to media, lawyers and civil society.

In a statement, Justice Chaudhry wondered on the government decision to make heavy deployment of police for excesses on law abiding citizens and to keep judges under arrest whereas internationally wanted men were escaping from police custody.

He made this statement in clear reference to the escape of high profile alleged terrorist Rashid Rauf, from Rawalpindi district court's premises. He said the police atrocities could not demoralize the brave nation battling against the authoritarian regime. Justice Chaudhry said he would stand with these people and reiterated his resolve to continue struggle for the supremacy of rule of law and restoration of the Constitution of Pakistan.

"We will fight till the last breath for supremacy of un-tampered constitution of 1973 and rule of law," he said. Torturing peaceful demonstrators is a barbaric act committed by police and other agencies, he said. Peaceful protest is right of every citizen of Pakistan as freedom of expression is enshrined under 1973 Constitution, he said.

Look at the state of condition within a week, a blast 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 said. It is highly deplorable act of government, which exposes its weakness and nervousness.

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SAC Protest on 17th Dec 2007, Nasir Baagh Lahore

Fellows in Prison, Day and Night and the Approach of Eid…

Fellows in Prison, Day and Night and the Approach of Eid…

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.

How brutal was police in Islamabad ... Shame on Musharraf

By: Sammad

I apologize for not being able to write more details or in better language. Have 2 fractured fingers and back got real bad thrashing. I am still amongst the luckier ones. We still don't have details on the number but many got beaten up with cracked skulls, bleeding noses, and in broken bones. Many are still in jail and the whereabouts of a few are still unknown.

Our peaceful rally was once again stormed by the police. After being beaten up thrice by these policemen students had brought sticks for their own self defense. We were first charged at when we were trying to go to the CJ's house to show solidarity. Due to the traffic on the street and our numbers (about 1000 protesters with 200 odd with flags) we retaliated and got the police running back.

The second time they charged at us on the orders of ASP Nasir Aftab the students were able to push the police back. Nasir Aftab himself was seen beating up women on which a few students beat him up. He was eventually sent to a hospital after a special ambulance came to take the injured policemen. Please note that when one of the female students tried to go the ambulance to get her brother taken to the hospital she was charged on by 6 policemen. We have no news of her whereabouts as of this point.

Once the police failed to stop the students from going to the CJ's house an armored vehicle fired 30 odd tear gas shells. One shell hit a lawyer and exploded on his leg. He fainted there and was rushed to the hospital in a cab. The police also fired rubber bullets and pelted stones as well. Because of the tear gas people dispersed and riot police in their gas masks charged at us. The students were already in terrible condition due to the tear gas and the police showed no concern for the injured lying on the ground. They became easy targets and were beaten up indiscriminately.

Even with all this, a group of 50 students still made it to the CJ's house. They were eventually surrounded by 600 odd policemen who treated them terribly even after they were already handing themselves over to the authorities. There were numerous arrests made and many different news papers are reporting different numbers. At the time of writing this report the female prisoners have been released and the males were charged under so many different offenses that it was difficult to keep track.

The two bullies responsible for today's action are:
Nasir Aftab: 0300-8505563
Kamran Cheema: 9261163

The students urge you all to call these bullies and tell them about your sentiments One student said she had no one to go to for justice. Had the CJ been there he would have taken a suo moto notice against these policemen but without him there was no one to go to for help. She said this while being unable to move after the beating she got from the police and waiting for help from somewhere.

Please forward this to everyone and let the world know that students of Pakistan will not be affected by these minor skirmishes. They may have broken bones and aching bodies but their spirit is alive and will fight till our heroes are restored.

You can google news search Islamabad Protest Tear gas to find out more.

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