At a meeting of teachers on 6th December, it was unanimously decided to form a Teachers Action Committee. With representatives from various universities, colleges and schools of Lahore including PU, LGS, NCA, BNU, LACAS, FCC and GCU, the aim of TAC is to provide a forum where teachers can unite their voices against the illegal imposition of emergency rule and the brutal oppression of the Pakistani authorities to suppress any voices calling for the rule of law and freedom. We the teachers believe that our silence is not an option in the face of state brutality. Our silence is not an option now that the judiciary has been dismissed and the constitution has been violated.
The Teachers Action Committee vehemently condemns the FIR lodged against 14 members of the Punjab University academic staff and 4 professors and 2 students of LUMS under sections 124-A, 188, 143/149, 16-MPO and 7 ATA (charge of terrorism). We stand in complete solidarity with our fellow academics and students who have been subjected to this harassment and intimidation and demand the withdrawal of all charges against them. Such repressive tactics to suppress the basic rights of Pakistani citizens are in
direct violation of not only Pakistan’s constitution but also human decency. We fully support the right of all Pakistanis to freely express themselves without being subjected to such oppression.
We strongly believe that safeguarding freedom of thought and freedom of expression is a fundamental condition of our professionÃ‚Â–be it in our institutions or in our country. The unfair harassment of faculty and students by institutional administrations living in fear or collusion with repressive regimes should not be aided by our silence. Our collective voice shapes future generations who will own, make or break this land on which we stand. We therefore pledge to raise our collective voice to build and protect the future of Pakistan, our institutions and our profession.
- All faculty and students harassed (threatened with expulsion) for exercising their constitutional right to free speech and peaceful protest be stopped immediately. We demand that the fundamental rights of students and faculty be protected by campus administrations and by the state.
- November 2nd judiciary be restored immediately.
- All political prisoners be released immediately.
- An immediate lifting of martial law and the return of the army permanently to the barracks.
- Demand fair, free and transparent elections.
- Demand the lifting of all curbs on the media.
In this and only this, is the future of our country guaranteed.
Teacher Action Committee.