Monday, January 28, 2008
ISO protests against siege of Gaza City
LAHORE: Imamia Students Organizations (ISO) Sunday staged a protest outside Lahore Press Club to express solidarity with the people of Palestine.Students carrying placards and banners chanted slogans against the USA and Israel and demanded immediate end to the siege of Ghaza city. Addressing the protestors, ISO leader Nadir Abbas Baloch called upon President Pervez Musharraf to voice for the liberation of Palestine at the international level.
By: Mustafa Waris
The gulf between the rich and poor is widening with every new day. We do have a yearly list of the richest people on earth but nobody pays any heed to the poorest people especially the new entries. We have become acclimatized to lots of things which we just take for granted. In reality, our system has become something of a labyrinthine, and the most disturbing fact is that our oligarchs are adamant not to disturb the status-quo.
In the 60 years of the history of our country, we have taste both capitalism and socialism with capitalism dominating for most of the years. I am not entering the fray discussing which one of these suits us or our local environment. But my main point of concern is that our masses at large were not able to benefit from either of the two systems. We heard for many years from both schools of thought focusing on the positive attributes of both systems. I personally think that both were successful to some extent and simultaneously failed as well.
Coming back to Pakistan and finding ways so that the gulf between the rich and the poor could be controlled, let’s identify our main problem. If we examine our history and the data on the richest people of our country, we would find two different classes. One are the traditional landed elites having the proud title of Chaudries, Sardars, Maliks, Khans, Mians, Nawabs and the offspring of the Sirs and Generals. The other category is of those once poor people who now have the wealth and the power of our traditional elites. Most of the people reached this category through cynical ploy but a mere fraction did excel through purely fair means.
The dilemma of our society is that our nouvelle wealthy did nothing whatsoever to bring change in the society, instead they themselves got engrossed in ways of bolstering their budgets and turned out to be more feudal than the established elites. It can’t be said for sure, but it was probably a kind of a vengeance against the oligarchs. If the idea was to display their hatred towards the aristocratic, it was certainly not the right style. The right thing was to help their once pauper-fellows both socially and financially.
The current extremely dangerous situation of Pakistan is self-made turned self-destructive. Our country is on fire and we all are to blame for the present scenario. Year 2007 had been annus horribilis for the ordinary citizens of Pakistan. Never in our history did we witness suicidal attacks. Be it suicides or the suicidal attacks, both are performed in exasperation. The paramount reason is apartheid and injustice for which we are all culpable and should be made accountable. The oligarchs are to blame for doing too little to bring a real social change and the oppressed ones are to blame for tolerating this injustice for such a long time and doing nothing practical to bring about change. If we want to create Pakistan of our founders, we need to do something collectively and that needs to be done As Soon As Possible.
God bless Pakistan
By JEMIMA KHAN
(InformPress.com) - I am now a serial protester, it seems. And among my English friends increasingly the butt of jokes. Three demonstrations in the UK since October, and several others - including some of a distinctly Monty Python-esque bent - during my years of living in Pakistan. I have spent many a pre-protest evening in Islamabad quibbling with activists over the minutiae: what the placards should say (no "death to..." anyone, I would insist) or whether to allow effigy burning, a Pakistani protest staple ("Jem, you don'tunderstand how politics works here - please, just a burning Bush").
Tomorrow at midday I will once again be positioning myself outside 10 Downing Street, to await the arrival of retired General and self-appointed President Pervez Musharraf, who I intend to greet with lusty jeers, provocative placards and slogans that almost rhyme. We have agreed that we don't like the commonly used kuta, meaning dog. Monkey, fox, hyena and, worst of all (for a pork-phobic nation), swine have also been banned.
I expect most of you will be thinking: "Aren't demonstrations a bit old fashioned and irrelevant? Can they actually achieve anything?"
It is 40 years since 1968, "The Year That Rocked The World", when mass protests erupted across the globe, in France, America, Mexico, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Belgium, Poland, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia. While none of those demonstrations achieved their immediate stated aim, cumulatively they changed the world more profoundly than those involved could ever have imagined.
Popular protests rarely achieve much on their own. Hillary Clinton had a point when she said that "[Martin Luther] King's dream began to be realised when U.S. President Lyndon Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It took a President to get it done." She was lambasted by her Democratic rivals for having demeaned the great civil rights icon. But she was right that, while there is no doubt King was brilliant at mobilising a movement, as well as an outstanding orator and inspirational activist, his real achievement was the shifting of American consciousness. This created the environment in which it was possible for Johnson to pass the humanitarian Civil Rights Act which resulted in the greatest social change in 20th-century America.
The effects of protests are rarely immediate or even measurable. What demonstrations do is to change the weather. And the weather changes the landscape. Protests invariably move from the extreme to the mainstream.
Sometimes, though, they really do what they say on the banners. Ghandi's march to the sea to make salt marked the beginning of the push to remove the British from India; the Suffragettes did get the vote for women; the Peasant's Revolt did change the feudal system; and the Anti-Slavery Movement did do away with slavery. They are all examples of what demonstrations hope to achieve: the mass power of the individually powerless.
Tomorrow I will be protesting Gordon Brown's continued support for Pakistan's dictator. I will be joined by politicians, lawyers, doctors, human rights activists, journalists and ordinary Pakistanis who want to know what happened to New Labour's "ethical foreign policy". Our equivalents in Pakistan have been denied the same right to protest. Many hundreds remain in prison - some tortured. We can't read about it because the media in Pakistan remains restricted.
Brown and Musharraf are planning to discuss democracy, counter-terrorism and the upcoming Pakistani elections. We, the crowd outside Number 10, will be there exercising freedom of speech and practising real democracy. Inside they will only be going through the motions.
How can they seriously discuss the "democratic process in Pakistan" with straight faces when 60 percent of the Superior Court judges have been dismissed and many are still under house arrest? How can "free and fair elections" take place in three weeks under the supervision of hand-picked substitute judges, a pet caretaker government and a bogus election Commission? Why is our Government supporting and our taxpayers funding a counter-terrorism strategy that has encouraged terrorism? Above all, why has our Prime Minister chosen to host a constitutionally illegal ruler who has lost the support of Pakistanis both in Britain and abroad, and who is seen as the cause not the solution to the country's problems?
Every time Gordon Brown shakes hands with and gives tea to a dictator, in some small way, like protests, it changes the weather. If you shake hands with one, you shake hands with them all. It's pointless refusing to be in the same country as Mugabe, if you invite Musharraf into your home.
Wouldn't it be nice if, on hearing our shouts, Brown came to the window of Number 10, waved cordially at the rabble outside and announced: "Actually, you are right." To be followed from within by pleasing sounds of scuffle and outrage with Brown emerging to join our final chorus of "Resign Musharraf, Resign!"
It is more likely that we will just make ourselves heard. But who knows? 2008 may yet turn out to be Pakistan's 1968. Inshallah.
Monday, midday, Downing Street. Effigies supplied.
[Ms. Jemima (Goldsmith) Khan is a leader of the Free Pakistan Movement (FPM) based in London, UK.]
بعض صحافیوں کو سوائے بکواس کے کوئی کام نہیں۔
قاضی حسین احمد پاگل ہیں انہیں معائنہ کروانا چاہئے۔
یہ بلوچستان والے کیا سمجھتے ہیں۔ یہ سن ستر نہیں ہے کہ پہاڑوں پر چڑھ گئے۔ ان کے سر پر ایسی چیز لگے گی کہ پتہ بھی نہیں چلے گا کہ کہاں سے آئی۔
یہ آپ نے سوال کیا ہے۔۔۔۔۔ لگتا ہے آپ کا تعلق سندھ سے ہے۔ سندھ والے ہی اکثر ایسے سوال کرتے ہیں۔
مجھے پتہ ہے کیا ہوتا ہے۔۔۔۔ کئی خواتین اس لئے ریپ ہونے کا شور مچاتی ہیں کہ انہیں کینیڈا یا کسی اور ملک کا ویزا مل جائے۔
افتخار چوہدری کی بات چھوڑیں جی ۔۔۔ وہ ایک نااہل اور کرپٹ شخص ہیں۔
میں ایک فوجی ہوں جو جمہوریت اور انسانی حقوق پر پختہ یقین رکھتا ہے۔
یہ مغرب والے فروغ جمہوریت اور انسانی حقوق کے جنون میں مبتلا نہ ہوں۔ ہمیں ان کے معیارات تک پہنچنے میں وقت لگے گا۔
چند سابق فوجیوں کی تنقید سے کوئی فرق نہیں پڑتا۔ یہ غیر اہم لوگ ہیں۔
یہ جو یہاں بیٹھ کر پاکستان اور حکومت پر الزام تراشی کرتے ہیں۔ انہیں روکنا ہوگا۔ بلکہ اگر ان جیسوں کو دو تین ٹکا دیں تو اچھا ہوگا۔
I am sure that i dont have to 'expose' the 'wise' guy ... because he is already exposed to everyone. He is more insane than he looks ... because if he had a little bit of grace then he would have gone by now ... but he didn't. What do you say on these 'Golden quotes' ? If i missed some of the 'Golden Quotes' then pardon me ... and add them into the comment area :)