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Student Action Committee Lahore urges for an Election Boycott

Emergency Times has published a letter from the Student Action Committee in Lahore urging the political parties to boycott the elections

To the leadership of the APDM, PML-N, PPP and PTI,

The students of over 15 universities and institutes of Lahore have united to form the Student Action Committee, Lahore. We are also collaborating with the Student Action Committees of Islamabad and Peshawar. Together, we call to you at a time when the nation is required to unite. The institutions of the state have been maligned again and we, the students, have united to oppose their blatant subversion. In the absence of organized structures, it has taken us a while to unite, but united we stand to ensure that our country has a future. Our voices were raised and, then, attempted to be muffled from the first day following the emergency but we have remained steadfast in the face of mounting pressures and we request you to do the same.

Collectively, we have demanded the lifting of Martial Law, the reinstatement of the judiciary, the restoration of the constitution, the freedom of the media and the release of protest prisoners before we can even consider the upcoming election to be free and fair. Therefore, we have collectively agreed that unless the aforementioned are undertaken, we shall advocate a complete boycott of the elections and attempt to mount a movement for the fulfillment of this struggle.

This letter is a call to you with a single agenda a boycott of the scheduled elections for we must lend no legitimacy to any course that the present executive takes to justify the imposition of martial law against the judiciary and the citizenry of Pakistan. Therefore, in this appeal to your party leadership, we call upon you to stand by your own manifest cause the restoration of democratic rule to Pakistan.

What is vital today is that we stand together for the judiciary, who had begun to take the first steps to uphold our constitution. The restoration of the judiciary to its position as of the 2nd of November 2007 must be a pre-condition before extending any degree of participation in the electoral process. These elections are a slight to democracy and all its advocates.

Therefore, we make this call to your alliance to stand steadfast for once: for we have oft seen you waver since your creation. We need our political leaders to stand together for the cause that they have oft championed. If you do stand steadfast and withdraw from the upcoming mockery (the elections) then we do promise that we will do our utmost to stand by you in protest and, perhaps, even, stand ahead of you for this country, in our united struggle for the institution of true democracy in the country.

Our task is simple and needs no elaboration: the restoration of peoples rule to the citizens of Pakistan. If, indeed, you be ready to stand by the people of this nation, then, we shall commend you and respect you and struggle alongside you for the sake of our future. However, if you too give in to the imperatives of short term power then unfortunately, you too shall stand as an affront to our cause.

We, the humble students of the universities and institutions of Lahore, hereby, call upon you to boycott the upcoming election as candidates and as political parties. We shall call upon the people to do so in our capacity as (inshallah) the next generation of Pakistan. We hope that in doing so we can collectively mount a campaign that may change the currently teetering course of our nation.

In anticipation of principles,

The Student Action Committee, Lahore

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