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Posts tagged with: Activism

Update @ 1826: An eye witness account of arrests & baton charge on journalists

Via e-mail from Anis Haroon who relates who journalists and his friends from Public Relations at various news agencies were first baton charged by the police and then arrested when they attended a peace rally outside the Karachi Press Club, earlier today at 1500:

The print and electronic media had given a call for procession on 20th November (14th day of Emergency/Martila law) at 3:00 pm. When I reached there as usual Press clubs’ entrances were sealed off by Police vans from both sides.
When the procession reached near the patrol pump (gas station) riot police came forward to stop us. The journalists raised slogans and tried to break off the fotified barriers. The “Lathi charge” began and leaders like Sabihuddin ghosi, Faisal Aziz Khan, Ahfazurrehman and shamimurrehman got arrested.

The police chased us hitting with their batons down to press club. some of the journalists and photographers got beaten up badly who were then dragged to the van. The police wanted to enter the press club on the pretext of stone throwing from inside but some journalists stood guard and stopped them.
Most of them present went outside and sat on the ground chanting slogans for the release of arrested colleagues. when it became clear that they r not going to to be released, a number of them went a head to court arrest. a large number of them were arested n sat in the vans raising slogans. seven women journalists with 2 from the People’s Resistance — Husna and Urooj also courted arrest. They have now been taken to different “Thanas” (police stations) and are detained.


Update @ 1610: A large number of Journalists arrested

In a rally organized by KUJ which was supposed to take out a protest rally from Karachi Press Club to the Governors House came under some police action which resulted in lathi Charge which ended up having over 150 journalists behind bars. A few fellow activists are also in jail at the moment which includes Urooj Zia and Husna. More updates to follow as the news comes in

Update @ 1620: A total of 17 People’s Resistance activists may also be behind bars, last known whereabouts are at the Darkhashan Police Station in Defence


Update 0506: People’s Resistance Flash Protest, PIDC, Karachi

Yesterday November 16th at 5:30 pm the People’s Resistance organized a Flash Protest at PIDC Karachi which according to its basic rules does not last more then 10 minutes, a number of people showed up at very short notice to voice their opinion against the Martial Law, a few images have been displayed with the faces deliberately smudged out to protect anonymity, after all its not the people but the message that actually matters

Peoples Resistance Flash Protest

Peoples Resistance Flash Protest


Update @ 1113: Assault on Protesting Students in Islamabad

A report received via the People’s resistance mailing list from an activist in Islamabad

On 12th November, 9 days after an unconstitutional act of emergency was declared, the regime crossed a new threshold by shamelessly attacking, arresting and detaining schoolchildren in Islamabad. A group of students, most of them between 14 and 18 years of age, was silently walking outside a public park as a sign of protest when it was accosted by Islamabad Police. The Police told the students that they needed special approval from the magistrate’s office to walk any further and that they had to wait until such approval or the magistrate himself arrived. The students, unwilling to challenge the police, obliged and sat down where
they were. Twenty minutes later, the students were informed that they did not have permission to proceed any further, and were asked to return to their starting point and disperse. Once again, the students obliged, showing that they did not want to confront the Police who had clearly been given specific orders from above.
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Update @ 0539: Images from Nov 10th peace rally at Downing Street in London

The following images were sent in to us by the People’s Resistance in London where over 1,000 people rallied last Saturday outside the UK Prime Minister’s residence on Downing Street to demand that Britain uses their influence in Islamabad to pressurize Musharaff to lift his martial law, hold elections, remove media curbs and release all those arrested:


Update @ 0230: People’s Resistance Action Update 12th Nov

Peoples Resistance Action RallyA number of concerned citizens of Karachi have joined together to form a loosely connected people who have started calling themselves the People’s Resistance, it remains peaceful initiative by civil society to peacefully rally against the recently imposed martial law

The flash demonstrations were held at two venues. The first one at the Schoen Circle was not without excitement. As the group was collecting a police van came and parked in front of us. Based on police presence it was decided that we will have a silent protest but minus the men. The women lined up with their banners and the plain clothed gentleman from the police van took pictures of the group.

Peoples Resistance Action RallyThe group went to the next venue which was in front of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Agency which is responsible for the present curbs on media. The PEMRA people were good enough to immediately close the gates of the office and it was said to call the police. However, till the time we left police did not show up.

From todays demonstration it is clear that the authorities are keeping tabs on us. Maybe the idea is to scare us into leaving; not much hope of that.


Update @ 0320: People’s Resistence issues a Statement to Support Judiciary

A group of concerned citizens from the People’s Resistance (umbrella group formed to resist the ’emergency’) have been meeting the non-PCO judges over the last few days to extend solidarity and appreciate their stand.

Below please see a summary of the key points that emerged from these meetings

Civil society coalition, People’s Resistance, is appalled at the attempt by General Musharraf to destroy the independence of judiciary of Pakistan.

Civil society condemns the following steps undertaken by General Musharraf to undermine the judiciary and to demoralise the honourable judges who have refused to take oath under the PCO:
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Update @ 0942: National Party’s General Secretary is targeted by Pakistani Government

Via e-mail from Umar Farooq with the People’s Resistance which is a coalition of various organizations, left-wing political parties, NGOs and human rights organizations, labor and trade-union federations, academics, students, and citizens:

Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo, General Secretary National Party, was sent on judicial remand to Landhi District Jail on November 8, 2007. Since hen no one has been allowed to meet with him. On November 10, 2007. Mr. Bizenjo’s Lawyer Arif Khan, Central Information Secretary National Party, Mr. Jan Mohammad Buledi, and Umar Farooq of People’s Resistance tried to visit him in the jail. They were informed that there are strict orders from authorities to not let anybody visit Mr. Bizenjo. They were also told that the visitation ban seems to be indefinite.


Its feared that Mr. Biznjo is being held in Solitary Confinment in the jail. Mr. Bizenjo is the first politician who is being charged with sedition that carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. It seems that the government is targeting Mr. Bizenjo because he enjoys very good relationship with both Ms. Benazir Bhutto and Mr. Nawaz Sharif. In fact last week Ms. Benazir Bhutto asked him personally to act as an intermediary between her and Mr. Nawaz sharif. Mr. Bizenjo was trying to bring all the political parties and civil society groups together to work towards the common goal of the restoration of Independent Judiciary and repeal of the Martial Law.


Update @ 2030: Peace Rally outside MacDonald’s in Karachi today

The following came into us via e-mail from a representative with the Peoples’ Resistance which is a coalition of various organizations, left-wing political parties, NGOs and human rights organizations, labor and trade-union federations, academics, students, and citizens, demonstrated today (Friday) evening outside MacDonald’s at Sea View in Clifton in a flash peace rally:

The public rally was a direct resistance against the state-imposed ban on public demonstrations. The citizens of Karachi have decided categorically that they will maintain a civil disobedience movement until the dictatorship has been broken. YAYYYY for Karachi!!!

The demonstrators, who had orders to remain peaceful at all times, shouted slogans against the imposition of emergency, the clampdown on the judiciary and the media, and the military dictatorship. Some of them also held lighted candles to mark the evening vigil. Pamphlets were also distributed. A number of onlookers joined us within minutes and asked for placards and candles to hold. They also participated in chanting anti-State and anti-Musharraf slogans. A family of three (with a child around two years old) stopped their car in the middle of the road and came out to join the demonstration. Amazingly awesome response we’re getting from the public.
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Does Musharraf face risk of a coup?

Lt Gen KianiEarly today morning there were strong rumors throughout he country that the junior squadron of Army leadership had turned onto Musharraf and had him under house arrest, the rumor fizzled out to be smoke and Musharraf went on record to state that this was ‘a joke of the highest degree’ An interesting article by BBC helps us understand the loyalty within the army and it might be difficult to expect something from within, my personal gut feeling is that such a resistance will only happen if Musharraf faces a strong public revolt, which he has managed to control till today, with a massive revolt someone might sum up the courage to turn against him, but it wont happen for another 20-30 days

By M Ilyas Khan
BBC News, Karachi

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf was forced to dismiss rumours circulating on Monday that he had been placed under house arrest, just two days after he declared emergency rule. As things stand, there is little reason to believe that Gen Musharraf, who is both president and head of the army, is in imminent danger of being removed from office by force. There are only two groups of people who would appear to have the capacity to move against Gen Musharraf and arrest him. One is his immediate subordinates in the army, including the heads of the intelligence services. The other is the corps commanders who constitute the second tier of the leadership of the military. Gen Musharraf’s position depends on the personal loyalty to him of those who serve him and also the institutional loyalty of military men to their chief. On both counts, the odds looked stacked well in favour of Gen Musharraf.
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Pakistan is the World’s Most Dangerous Nation : Newsweek

Newsweek Pakistan Dangerous CountryNewsweek has dedicated this weeks cover page to Pakistan with a bold title “The Most Dangerous Nation in the World Isn’t Iraq – Its Pakistan” (read the entire 6 page cover story here). To be honest Pakistanis are not at all surprised, as it was on the cards all along and we have been watching this happen while our so called leaders deliberately played to the tune of Enlightened Moderation.

The problem started after 9/11 when America wanted to wage a war to seek revenge, they may have sugar coated the word revenge to neutralize it as a global issue by labeling it as a war on terror, but in true sense it was one nation fighting against its own enemies. This offensive in reality went far beyond simply being an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth concept to more like the phrase used by Mahatma Gandhi “An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind” which he used in reference to his Satyagraha philosophy of nonviolent resistance.
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Busharraf meets Bhutto

Benazir and Musharraf cartoonIts interesting to see how circumstances change one persons destiny, a few months back Musharraf could has easily sat on top of his throne snap his fingers and practically anyone in the country would rock to his attention, including the tranche of self exiled leaders Benazir and Nawaz. Its now a question of, who has a better set of cards to deal out, and at the present Benazir holds the trump card and has asked Musharraf too do a Bhangra dance at her door step in Abu Dhabi this weekend.

In the recent past Musharraf has taken numerous political setbacks, severely denting his public image and eroding his supreme reign of power. Despite the apparent downward trend in his public support he continues to feel indispensable to the nation and feels that he should be allowed to serve the country for another five years. His only salvation is to make a crooked deal with one of the tired and tested corrupt leaders of Pakistan.
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The 15 Jail Days under Musharaf military dictatorship

By: Farooq Tariq
(I received this article written by Farooq Tariq, a leader of Labor Party Pakistan, its important to share this first-hand narration of the events which took place while he was detained by Musharrafs dictatorship in an attempt to control the rising voice of descent slowly developing against him in Pakistan)

It was one of worst jail experience I had during my 30 year of activism. I was released after 15 days when my detention orders were withdrawn by the home secretary of Punjab government on 19th June. It was not due to a mercy of the government but our local and international massive solidarity campaign. Hundreds of protest letters have been sent to General Musharaf with dozens of faxes and messages of protest to different provincial authorities during the solidarity campaign against my detention.

Most importantly, a write petition at Lahore High Court was to be heard on 20th June. One of the most prominent advocate and former president of Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan Abid Hassan Minto was to argue my case against the detention. Abid Hassan Minto is also head of National Workers Party and convener Awami Jamhoori tehreek (Peoples Democratic Movement) a left alliance of seven political parties. Labour Party Pakistan is part of the alliance.
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Muhammads (PBUH) Christian Covenant and Benedicts Indictment

By: Dr Arif Alvi

Article published in Dawn Tuesday 24th October 2006 & a digital newspaper version of the printed article can be found here, while the original full version with all relevant images is being reproduced below

In his lecture on Faith, Reason and the University Memories and Reflections Pope Benedict the XVI, stirred the already seething Muslim populace throughout the world by his remarks delivered at the University of Regensburg in Germany where he had been a professor of theology. Since then there has been outrage in the Muslim world while there was support from Christian quarters. We see a significant polarization in the world today which is increasingly insensitive to religious feelings. While the Christian world feels a no holds barred and a frank if not rude discussion is necessary, the Muslims have an intolerant attitude to any insult of what they hold sacred. There must be a line however grey which demarcates what civilized discussion can be like, and the Muslims should also understand that the more they react the more provocation can come even from inconsequential sources.

“Show me just what Mohammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached
Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaiologus

However the utterings of a reigning Pope are of great consequence. Benedict XVI quoted the Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaiologus in a 1391 dialogue with an unnamed educated Persian, where the Emperor said that “Show me just what Mohammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached. The Vatican has since tried to make amends and has stated that these lines should not be taken out of context, and that the Popes intention was not to hurt the feelings of the Muslims. On the other hand the Pope also insists that it is necessary to open a discussion on what Christianity interprets as forceful conversion in Islam and a tendency towards violence.
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