Guest post by Salman Ahmad
“In the end, what we will remember is not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends – Martin Luther King Jr
The Chinese proverb goes May you live in interesting times and the past week has been nothing if not that. The openly accusatory e-mail exchange between Bilal Musharraf and myself, has been following a volatile trajectory in cyberspace.Its sparked off an intense cyber debate about whether I was right or not to disassociate myself publicly from Bilal’s father, Pakistan’s Pervez Musharraf. When the destiny of millions of people is being jeopardized by a flawed regime, personal friendships have to take a back seat.
Artists by nature represent a global civil society. In Pakistan, as in much of the subcontinent, this role is misunderstood by many who think that dissent is reserved only for political opposition,media pundits, human rights activists and religious extremists.The people who think that I’m jumping on the post-emergency Musharraf-bashing bandwagon should know that ever since I can remember Pakistani governments have sought to muzzle artists and poets who show dissent and protest.The celebrated Pakistani poet,Faiz Ahmed Faiz wrote “Bol kay lab azad hain terey” but Pakistani leaders’ favorite artists have been those who behave like court jesters — nacho,gao,khush karo aur bhaag jao — rather than informed citizens who have an independent view of politics and society. Most of my career has focused on entertainment blended with social themes expressed through music, poetry and documentary films.
Continue reading “The Silence of Friends” »
If many might recall the People’s Resistance had a small run-in with the police which almost ended up in a few arrests [Update 1] [Update 2] & [Final Report with pictures], but luckily after some intense negotiations every one was let go, members of the CodePink organization had just landed in Karachi a day earlier and were there to videotape it.
Later Medea Benjamin’s also blogged it at the CodePink website which can be found here and a small interesting extract I quote below
Continue reading “Youtube of the People’s Resistance run in with the Police last Sunday” »
Continue reading “Watch Live with Talat” »
I would like to share with you this music video titled Don’t Give Up sung by Willie Nelson & Sinead O’Connor (originally sung by Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush) which was sent to me by Salman Ahmed of Junoon fame. This powerful song caries a message of hope maybe to inspire those passionate Pakistanis who may have been feeling a little under-the-weather at not having altered much, despite our efforts to resist the unfair political chaos which has befallen our country.
Salman sends this link and simply says Don’t Give Up…. Pakistan (on this thanksgiving, this song is for you)
I’m speechless, Pakistanis lets not give up on our country, after all its our country, Pakistan Humara Hai
Lahore Metroblogs: Students of University of the Punjab continued protests against IJT’s existence this Monday. This time there were more than 1,500 participants of them who marched within the university premises upto the Vice Chancellor’s office.
Girls and boys were holding banners and playcards with their demands written on them while copies of anti-IJT movement’s objectives were distributed among the students and faculty. The document asked for removal of all political elements from the University’s campus and hostels as well as formation of a neutral students’ body with elected members good in academics as its caretakers.
Continue reading “Update @ 1531: Protests Continue at Punjab University” »
A number of videos have been posted of the Anti-Jamiat rally held Punjab University on the 14th of November the after Jamiat activists handed over Imran Khan to the authorities, this video is truly inspiring and shows the level of motivation found amongst the students rallying for Imran Khan and at the same time condemning Jamiat. It is in the youth that lies the potential to create a change
Addendum: It has just been brought to my attention that this video clip was uploaded on YouTube on June 04, 2007 over five months earlier, if you were not to look at the date then it is interesting to see the similarity of events that occurred five months back when the government blocked Dr. Shahid Masood’s and Kamran Khan’s show
Credit: Ramblings from Afar
A number of students in Punjab University have spoken out against Islami Jamiat Talaba, as reported by Lahore Metroblog where they have captured an ARY Interview and have translated it in English for our International audience
An extensive coverage at Lahore Metroblogs of the protests at Punjab University following the betrayal of a few IJT activist who handed the Cricketer turned politician to the police to the bureaucracy
The update on Imran Khan is that he was charged under the Anti-Terrorism charge for inciting his supporters to stand up (take up arms) against the government and has been shifted to Kot Lakhpat Jail. Before his arrest he gave an extensive interview with Newsweek which can be read here
PU witnesses largest ever anti-jamiat protests: The situation at the University’s New Campus started to develop at around 11:00 AM when students from the University’s Law College, Institute of Communication Studies, IBA, and adjacent institutes started a march to protest Jamiat’s role in Imran Khan’s arrest by proceeding from one department to another, gathering more people with them. In no time, the youthful crowd had grown to more than 200 people, mainly from the departments where Jamiat traditionally has little or no presence.
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.
Continue reading “Update @ 1113: Assault on Protesting Students in Islamabad” »
On Saturday, over 100 high-spirited students and members of the Pakistani community in Paris braved cold winds in Paris to demonstrate in favor of the restoration of the fundamental rights of the citizens of Pakistan and the Pakistani lawyers.
The student organizers estimate that their rally delivered their message to over 4,000 tourists who had come to see the nearly Eiffel Tower. Both GEO and ARY One captured the event, which unfortunately will be able to be viewed in Pakistan only by the few citizens who have TV satellite dishes. More images from the Paris peace rally are available here along with other video footage of the demonstration.