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Posts tagged with: Long March

The Lahore Rebellion: Email update from Labor Party Pakistan

The fight is going on. Police is sometime retreating and coming back to use tear gas. The protesters are also determined to express their right to get together.

Police is firing directly at the demonstrators. One casualty the Shahid siddique, the newly elected president of Lahore High Bar Association. Thousands of rounds of tear gas been fired at General Post Office Chowk. Many has injured. Asma Jehanghir is also been effected badly.

The Labour Party Pakistan contingent arrive at GPO Chowk around one pm. They include several women. Maqsood Mujahid, member national executive committee LPP told me on phone that all of us have been effected but all of us are on high spirit.
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The Deal has been finalized, the show will go on, hero’s need to be made

I share with you an email circulated widely by journalist Afzal Khan today –

Its a worrisome analysis almost in line with my earlier post today morning – The Sharif’s are being seen to have been allowed free movement while lawyers and political leaders are being arrested country wide. This lawyers revolution is for now the beating pulse of a nation, little do they factor in the frustrations and the voices of the people

The email from Afzal Khan carried the title The deal is clinched, but the show will go on (Afzal Khan)
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International Socialist inside the Lahore High Court

Just talked to Riaz and other International Socialists comrades. They are inside Lahore High Court. with Samina Noman, Noman Qadir, Salahuddin, Salam (LPP). They said that the atmosphere is absolutely electric. Police have fired tear gas shells INSIDE the Lahore High Court as well. And every now and then lawyers and political workers go outside the court and pelt the police with stones. This exchange has been going on for more than 3 hours now. But the lawyers/civil society people there are not backing down an inch. International Socialists comrades Rasheed and Bangash are also inside the Lahore High Court.

Salahuddin has taken a lot of tear-gas but he is okay.

Every now and then an injured person comes inside the court, but then more people go outside and pelt the police in anger.

Huge number of people are in and around Lahore high court. Waiting for Nawaz sharif to arrive.

International Socialists.

Country nears a Long March frenzy, but a deal brews underneath

I write this blog post early Sunday morning at around 5am, so my thoughts might not be all that coherent, but I feel some pressing points need to be shared before the Lahore stand off takes off in barely five hours from now at 10am on March 15th

  1. Shahbaz Sharif had a very urgent meeting in Islamabad last night [13th March] where he flew from Lahore to Islamabad [eye witness confirm], the talks were afoot that a few deals were being negotiated – namely the eligibility of Nawaz and Shahbaz would be settled, Shahbaz Sharif would then reinstated as Chief Minister and Governor Salman Taseer will be shown the door, in exchange the Sharif brothers will end the Long March with immediate effect. These basic issues were agreed upon by both sides [even the idea of ending the long march / defusing it], what remained a tackling issue was the exact process on how to reinstate Iftikhar Chaudhry. Shahbaz Sharif allegedly wanted solid guarantees and merely the ‘word’ of Zardari carried little weight, COAS Kiyani and Hilary Clinton were being propped up to foot the final claim but reassurances were not entirely satisfactory [or so we are told]. Shahbaz returned having not finalized the deal on the last point
  2. Gilani as off till the 13th March was playing a significant role in negotiations, but on the 14th was visibility out of the picture, he has been propped up by the US Government to play a more responsible role in settling this crisis, word is still out if he can or cannot deliver, but a few statement were made that gave good vibes to the public but it alone cant be the guage of the attitude behind closed doors
  3. None of the lawyers from other cities were permitted to leave their respective cities, Kurd from Quetta, Muneer Malik and Rashid Rizvi from Karachi.- But ironically Sharif brothers are given a free hand to move
  4. Lahore is allegedly clamped down any roads leading into or out of Lahore are effectively sealed
  5. But suddenly today early morning March 15 3:00am a convoy carrying Shahbaz Sharif from Raiwind breaks through a barricade and runs off onto the Motorway towards Islamabad
  6. Moments later news breaks out that hundred of police officers raid Rawalpindi bar thrash the lawyers sleeping there and are reported to have arrested 60 people
  7. March 15th will be the day of resistance in Lahore – to be strategically handled by the elder brother Mian Nawaz Sharif
  8. I honestly suspect this is a deliberate ploy to undermine the presence of Lawyers and other political parties while paving the way for PML-N to stretch their muscles in victory, lawyers being deliberately left on the sidelines, its possible that the only Lawyers that might make an visible appearance could be Aitzaz Ahsan & Hamid Khan arriving on the Constitution avenue, but with the sudden departure of Shahbaz Sharif from Lahore to Islamabad goes to suggest that he has full plans to hold the PML-N fort on the 16th March in Islamabad and would in all likelihood be the only person to really be allowed to make a big show
  9. Not that, it matters as long as there is the independence of Judiciary, but we must keep in mind that the NRO is not be debated and neither is the 17th amendment being talked about.
  10. Lets also not forget that the frenzy of the Long March only started after Shahbaz Sharif lost his Chief Ministership, and prior to that development, PML-N was on the fence playing second fiddle as it has continued to do so since Feb 18th with the Lawyers movement

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To March or not to March, other ways to make your voice heard

By Zermeen Amira

This post is inspired by the likes of Muhammad Ali Jinnah who never broke the law and never went to prison while engaging in independence movement and the struggle for Pakistan. The post is also inspired by our tradition that says that if you see a wrong, the least thing one could do is to feel bad about it in ones heart, the next best thing is to say it loud that this is wrong and the most superior thing would be to do something practical to stop the unjust act.

Having said that I am appalled at the lack of ingenuity, resourcefulness and creativity of our political parties both PPP and PML included in mobilizing popular support. Take the example of Lahore, at every nook and corner people are talking about the unjust acts of government in Islamabad. Other moms talk about it incessantly when I go to pick up my kid from school. Even the kids in my fifth graders class are talking about it! Yet a major majority of these moms, their husbands, their brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts etc would not be part of the Long March even if they support it whole heartedly. So should we declare all of these folks coward, non-patriotic, chickens or whatever? Absolutely not! Refer to the first paragraph, it is fully recognized that different people have different tolerance levels of how strongly they feel about something and what they are willing to do about it, ranging from feeling bad about an unjust act to actually trying to stop it with legal but physical means; physically participating in the Long March in this case.
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Labour Party Pakistan activists arrested and beaten up

Post by Farooq Tariq

Police in Karachi arrested today on 12 March three activists of Labour Party. Dozens of lawyers and other political activists were also arrested. They were part of the long march which started today this morning from Karachi after police failed to stop it. The march was stopped outside Karachi at Toll Plaza by police. All the participants were forcefully returned and those who resisted were arrested.

Here the police targeted Nasir Mansoor, national labour secretary Labour Party Pakistan and member of national executive committee of LPP. He was severally beaten up and his car was snatched. He was shifted to a hospital in an ambulance. Here, police arrested Shela Rezwan, LPP Sindh Committee member, Samina from Peoples Resistance and Sadiq and Khalid of LPP Karachi. Shela and Samina were released after hours but Sadiq and Khalid are still in police custody. Police also arrested the main leadership of the lawyer’s movement over here. Most of the television channel broadcasted the arrests and beating of Nasir.
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Defiance in Karachi

Posted on the Peoples Resistance Mailing List

Today when I reached Sindh High Court Bar in the morning, I that the Police were hurdling protestors of JI and Qadir Magsi’s STP in Police vans. Still many defiant activists of JI and STP kept on pestering the police, who used to charge towards them after every few minutes. There were many policemen in plain clothes today as well. After sometime, around 100 lawyers came out of the High Court. Then other activists from LPP and Awami Tehreek also joined in. I along with my fellow IS members also joined in this procession, which started to swell.

We marched from Sindh High Court/Passport Office to the Bus Stop near Rainbow Centre, Saddar. There everybody got organised and got into there respective cars and buses. IS members also got into their cars. And from then on, the procession was great. We went from Quaid’s Mazar to Islamia College, to Jail Chowrangi to NIPA, to Gulshan Chowrangi to Sohrab Goth. It was at Sohrab Goth when we got out of our cars for a little while and chanted slogans and what not. It was great to see the familiar faces of Salahuddin and Noman Qadir (they helped us a lot during the last march till Islamabad). We crossed Al-Asif and were going smoothly when one of cars developed a problem.
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PM Gilani can become a hero from zero

Guest Blog by NRehman

zardari-gilaniPrime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani has a chance of a life time to become a long awaited hero for the Pakistani nation. If the PM stands firm against Presedent Zardari and ask the Parliament to vote for the restoration of the judiciary, he will get an enormous applause from the whole nation. The long march by Lawyers will change its slogan to “Kadam Barhao Gilani hum tumharay sath hain“.

He has a chance to start a new era for PPP and will leave other parties far behind them. This is such a perfect opportunity that even the establishment will feel helpless if they wanted to take any action against it. He will have the support of most of the Parliament in both houses. Senior PPP leaders like Amin Faheem, Aitazaz Ehsan and Safdar Abbasi will support him straight away and the other will follow immediately, there is already a big conflict in PPP over this NRO issue but nobody is bold enough to come out and complain.

Come on PM show us what you are made of and lead the nation through this tough time, you have been given a golden chance to shine and make PPP a formidable force in Pakistan.

What should the army do?

Guest Post by Aqil Sajjad

There are some rumours that the PPP is planning to use the army to curb the long march. One hopes these stories turn out to be false, because if the military were to side with the government against the lawyers, it would be pitting itself against the people of Pakistan. Its public image would take another serious battering, and army officers would again come in for a lot of abuse from angry people when they went out in their uniform, as was the case in the post Nov 3 days.

This would be very unfortunate, since we need the army to play its due role in the defence of the country with full public support, rather than getting into a fight with te civil society on behalf of some vested interests.
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Long March LIVE updates

This combined effort to monitor all UPDATES regarding the Long March

The event has now been closed – you may replay the events here and they will Inshallah remain a documented in history to have been the day when the People in Pakistan stood up for what they believed in

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Section 144 imposed in Lahore – arrests underway

In preparation of the Long March section 144 was imposed in Lahore on Tuesday for three days effective from Wednesday.

Late tonight high level meetings were underway in preparation for conducting arrests of top leaders by the Government of Pakistan to prevent the lawyers and political parties from participating in the Long March – more updates to follow

Long March Twitterhttp://twitter.com/LongMarch
March for Justicehttp://marchforjustice.wordpress.com/

Back to Square One

Credit FASTRising Blog

The following was written on 28th February – before the “mobile justice” Presidential Ordinance (finally withdrawn on 3rd March) and before the attack on the Sri Lankan national cricket team – in response to the promulgation of Governor’s Rule in the Punjab and the official obstruction of the Punjab Assembly sessions by the provincial executive authority.

Some observations:

  1. Why does the dis-qualification of the incumbent CM lead to the siege of the PA by the police? Imposition of Governor’s Rule – even if ordered by a democratically elected government – is an attack on democracy, on the right of the people to govern themselves through freely elected representatives. A simpler alternative would have been for the PPP to have said that decisions of the judiciary were not in its control, that they valued the alliance with the PML-N and that they would encourage the PML-N to pursue the case through proper channels – for example, the appeals process.
  2. Why do our civic liberties (freedom of speech, freedom of association, etc.) suffer because of a quarrel among the power elite?
  3. Democracy needs to be allowed to take root and the anti-democratic measures taken by the central executive authority – imposition of Governor’s rule, disruption of normal proceedings at the provincial assembly – at such a sensitive time may provide just the right conditions (dissatisfaction with performance, overwhelming disapproval of government actions, power vacuum) for the Army to carry out yet another coup.
  4. These two points taken together lead to criticism of both the PPP and the PML-N’s handling of the situation: Given the incredibly fragile condition of democracy in Pakistan, it is quite irresponsible of PML-N and PPP not to have worked out a better power-sharing formula. Irresponsible or simply incompetent. Some would say that it was impossible, that the rupture was inevitable. We simply do not have enough information but if some day the story of the behind-the-scenes negotiations between June 08 and February 09 comes out, it may well reveal missed opportunities and/or lack of vision on the part of our “leaders”.
  5. A 100g roti need no longer be sold at Rs. 2 – the price ceiling was removed the day after the so-called Supreme Court handed down its disqualification ruling. Why should the completely de-politicised and alienated poor pay the price of a power struggle?

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Declaration by the National Conference for the restoration of Independent Judiciary

Declaration adopted at the National Conference for the restoration of independent judiciary held at Islamabad on 4th March, 2009

This National Conference having deliberated upon the need for the restoration of the independent judiciary in the country and for that purpose it was necessary to undertake a peaceful and non-violent Long March to Islamabad and then to peacefully undertake a sit-in (Dharna) in front of the Parliament House, adopts the following resolution:

WHEREAS: This Conference is of the view that the actions taken by the General Musharaf on November 03, 2007 were wholly illegal, malafide and unconstitutional and therefore cannot be sustained;

AND WHEREAS: The action of November 03, 2007 ought to have been reversed by executive action and all their effects ought to have been purged immediately after General Elections of February 18, 2008 but was not done;
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