Student Action Committee (SAC) Protest For Missing Persons

Student Action Committee (SAC) Protest For Missing Persons

Schedule:

Saturday, 30th January 2010,
3:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Liberty Roundabout, Lahore

“They disappear without a trace. Their families exist in torturous limbo. They lay awake wondering about their loved ones’ whereabouts and condition. Terrifying thoughts come to their minds evoking tears and a jolt to their heart. Their meaning of life altered. Forever”

Since the start of the US led war on terror in 2001 hundreds of people have been illegally picked up from Pakistan. Amnesty International has stated that Pakistan has detained hundreds of alleged terror suspects without legal processes. It has been speculated that some were tortured or otherwise ill-treated, some were sold to the US military and others vanished without a trace. Some of the missing were Al-Qaeda suspects but others included innocent women and children. The families of missing persons in Pakistan have been running exhaustively in search of justice and information about their loved ones. They see no light at the end of the tunnel.

For too long us Pakistanis have remained silent as things around us spiral out of control. If you want to make a difference, it is time to stand up, be heard and be counted, for history will never forgive us for being indifferent to the plight of our people.

Join us to protest against the forced abductions of the citizens of Pakistan and demand their immediate return to the country.

‘Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter’
– Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Random Thought–>Karachi Terrorism

Even interior ministry and police have confirmed that recent target killings and ashura incidents are done by local mafias and they are backed by political parties in government . So why not a full scale military operation with air strikes in Karachi if we have this “successful” strategy in our national policy making?
Why not allow USA to conduct drone attacks in the hideouts of these mafia supporters in Islamabad Parliament lodges, Presidency , Prime minister house, GHQ and all provincial capitals?
And don’t forget USA embassy itself which controls the whole setup run by puppets and slaves?

Where I stand–>Imran Khan (The News)

Saturday, May 23, 2009
By Imran Khan

It was Goebbels who came up with the brilliant theory that if the government wanted people to follow its policy, it must first instill fear in them and then slap all dissenters with the unpatriotic card. Anyone like me, who disagrees with the current indiscriminate military operation is accused of being a Taliban apologist.

Let me state categorically that I have been against the military operations since the disaster of what was formerly the East Pakistan. From East Pakistan to the present Swat operation, the political mantra has always been “no option but the military”. Successive military operations in Balochistan have only added to the sufferings of the Baloch people, which nurtured the seeds of their disillusionment with the Pakistani state. 

When Bush decided to attack Afghanistan in less than a month after 9/11, I opposed this US policy at every forum, including through the print and electronic media. Later, when he ordered the invasion of Iraq, I joined the nearly 2 million marchers in London opposing the Iraq war. It is noteworthy that at the time, over 90 per cent of Americans supported Bush’s Iraq invasion. Today, the overwhelming opinion in the US is that Iraq was a disaster. Moreover, the so-called “good war” in Afghanistan is being lost and its support dwindling. 

It is not surprising to see the findings of a Rand Corporation study of the last 40 years of terrorist or asymmetric conflicts, which reveal that only 7 per cent of these conflicts were resolved through military means.

When Musharraf buckled under the US pressure and sent the Pakistan Army into Waziristan, I opposed it in parliament and through the media. Speaking to the editors, Musharraf called me a “terrorist without a beard” – as if terrorism is the sole domain of bearded folk. When the Pakistan Army was sent into Waziristan, there were no militant Taliban in Pakistan. As a result of the Army operation, the tribal social and political structure was destroyed throughout Fata and Malakand, and the vacuum has been filled by nine major militant Taliban groups.

Again, at the time Musharraf commenced military action in Balochistan I opposed it and was accused of backing the “anti-state” elements. Today, what was a movement for Baloch rights and autonomy within Pakistan has morphed into a Baloch independence movement. On opposing the Lal Masjid operation, some of the self-appointed “liberals” accused me of backing the Islamic fundamentalists. But soon most of the indefatigable crusaders for human rights joined the critics of the Lal Masjid operation. More sobering is the fact that there were 60 suicide attacks in the aftermath of the slaughter of the Lal Masjid inmates and a steep rise in extremism. The Swat flare-up is a direct consequence of the Lal Masjid operation. 

While discussing my opposition to the current military operation, I must state where I stand politically and ideologically. My political inspiration is derived solely from Quaid-i-Azam, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the constitutionalist and democrat who believed in the rule of law above all else. My ideological moorings are firmly rooted in the political and spiritual dimensions of Allama Iqbal’s exposition of Islam, which not only liberates society from bondage but also the human soul from material desires – releasing the enormous God-given human potential. 

Above all, I am an ardent follower of our Prophet’s (PBUH) example of inspiring the heart and the intellect rather than forcing ideas through the sword – a far cry from what has been happening in Swat in the name of Islam. So on no count can I possibly either support the un-Islamic acts such as beheadings, flogging of women, or forcing a way of life on others, nor am I an apologist for such people – I am only answerable on this count to my conscience and to my God.

As for my opposition to the Malakand military operation, first and foremost I believe that the military option, if it has to be used should always be a last resort. Yet in Swat, the military operation was started barely two weeks after the presidential signing of the accord without alternative political strategies being given a chance. In my opinion, a national conference of all stakeholders, including religious and political parties and groups, particularly those representing Swat, should have been called prior to the operation. A delegation from such a conference should have been mandated to visit Swat and talk reason to the militants and report back to parliament. In other words, every effort should have been made to make the militants abide by the peace deal. All along the political effort, a concerted effort should have been made to gain time to revive civil administration, police, and the paramilitary presence in Swat.

The diehard militants who consistently refused to adhere to peace agreement could have been isolated over time – a key counter-insurgency tactic followed by precise military action to decapacitate the leadership.

Assuming, there was no alternative to the military option, then while it was being planned, arrangements should have been made for the people who were going to be displaced. Sadly, and shamefully, the military operation began suddenly under increased US pressure, timed with Zardari’s US visit and with the least concern for the people of the area. 

The unfolding tragedy that is taking place in Swat is mindboggling. To flush out a few thousand militant Taliban, more than two million people have been forced to live in misery in camps not fit for animals in civilised societies. Even more disturbing is the use of heavy artillery shelling and bombing from the air alongside helicopter gunships in areas with significant civilian population. Despite a heavy blackout, the news coming from the war zone tell tales of dozens if not hundreds of innocent civilian casualties. 

Given the collapse of governance in the country, can we adequately look after so many displaced people – especially as summer temperatures soar? And for how long? The wheat crop has already been lost. If the IDPs cannot return within two months, the fruit cash crops will be at risk. Hence how will they sustain themselves for the coming year? Perhaps most dangerous is the possibility of IDPs’ anger and frustration that besides resulting in riots may also swell the ranks of the militants. 

In such a situation, according to the Army briefing given to the parliamentarians, there is every possibility of the Taliban resurfacing not just in Malakand Division but elsewhere in the country – possibly the urban centres. Can we afford further spread of terrorism in our cities given the precarious security and fragile economic situation? Military action breeds more militancy.

An Army action which has already led to almost 2.5 million displaced countrymen cannot simply be accepted without questions. And, as if we do not already have a crisis, Zardari has declared that the war in Swat is merely the beginning of a wider war, which is likely to engulf other parts of the country. It is time to take stock and stop ourselves from committing collective suicide. What needs to be done is the following:

* The military action unfortunately is already underway but there is no political, particularly governance, strategy which is guiding this operation. That should be the first priority so that the military action does not continue in a political vacuum.

* A clear governance and political strategy that allows the IDPs to return following a swift end to military operation is needed. This strategy should be focused on a system of speedy justice through the Nizam-e-Adl and effective civil administration. The writ of the state and the rule of law go together and this has to be ensured if violent challenges to state and government are to be avoided in the future. 

* The military action, if at all, should have been extremely limited in scale and targeted with precision to minimise civilian casualties. Tragically, this did not happen and my fear is that widespread use of aerial weapons would only result in greater civilian casualties, swelling the ranks of the militants. So the military action needs to be revised to focus more on specific targeting and commando action.

Will any of this happen? Unfortunately in the present mood of the ruling elite, this does not seem likely. Instead, we will see increasing military action in the tribal areas as long as the US is in occupation of Afghanistan. 

In other words, as long as US troops in Afghanistan are perceived to be an occupying force that is anti-Pushtun and anti-Islam, there will be no peace in this region. We are heading in a fatal direction unless we change our strategy and pull out of this insane war that is sinking us into chaos. The longer this persists, the deeper we will find ourselves in this quagmire and we will confront a deeply divided society. 

Finally, my heart bleeds for the poor soldier confronting his own people turned into misguided and brutalised militants and giving his life for a war wrought on him by a corrupt and decadent ruling elite that cannot see beyond the lure of American dollars that have become as much of a curse for this hapless nation as the criminal extremists in our very midst. 

Some Updates Related To Black Flag Week–>Emergency mailing list and Black Flag week mailing list

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              Emergency Times Mailing List
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Today on March 9 2008 in front of the High Commission of Pakistan, London, the Pakistani community in the UK responded to the call of the Supreme Court Bar Association to show solidarity with the lawyers movement in Pakistan to restore judiciary and to ask Musharraf to step down immediately with Go Musharraf Go chanting. This is as mandated by the people of Pakistan based on the result of the recent elections.


There was also a clear demand for immediate release of the Chief Justice of Pakistan and others who are under house arrest and strong condemnation of violence used against the lawyers, civil society activists, students, political party members in Islamabad today who were trying to meet with the Chief Justice.
 
In the protest today, we had representation from the civil society including students, UK Lawyers Committee for Human Rights and Justice for Pakistan, Sibghat Kadri QC, political parties ie PPP, PML-N, PTI etc.

Based on the recent events today, we are very pleased to hear that a pact has been signed between the two mainstream parties to restore judicairy to the pre Nov 3rd state within 30 days and the London protest today shows how strongly the UK Pakistanis see this as a primary pillar for a democratic Pakistan.

Regs, 
 
Sibghat Kadri QC, Rabia Zia (UK PTI) 
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              Emergency Times Mailing List
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Dear Sarmad,
Please note that:
The Black Flag Hoisting at the residence of Mr. Iqbal Haider, Secretary General of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (D-25, Block 4, Clifton, just after Abdullah Shah Ghazi Mazar, Off. 26th Street, Karachi, Cell # 0300-8292888) will be held on Monday, the 10th of March 2008 at 05:00 pm
Regards.
Ejaz
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              Emergency Times Mailing List
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Black Flag Week

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Post Your Videos in Response to Aitzaz’s Videos:
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Send your pics to: blackflagweek@gmail.com
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Islamabad:

Saturday, 8th March:
Gather at Mr. Books in F-6 Supermarket for an address by Aitzaz Ahsan to traders of the area and a subsequent march to Aabpara.
Please do not forget that March 8th is International Women’s Day, hence WAF and other organizations have organized a march at 5:30 pm at China Chowk to the Parliament House.

All day camp near Mr. Books, Super Market to distribute flyers for rally and and black flags.

Sunday, 9th March:

Massive rally led by Aitzaz Ahsan from his Islamabad residence (Street 16, F-6/3) at 4 pm to the CJ’s residence. Bring black flags and wet towels in a plastic bag. Swimming goggles are also recommended since we anticipate heavy teargas.

Camp Sunday till 4 pm near Mr. Books, Super Market to distribute flyers for rally and and black flags. Imran Khan will lead a rally from here to join Aitzaz Ahsan’s rally.
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Lahore:

Saturday, 8th March:
Car Rally to Advertise Black Flag Week: Cars will be divided in 3 groups to leave from 5 Zaman Park (Nehr Ghar) at 3 pm on separate routes (routes will be given on arrival).

Sunday, 9th March:
Car Rally to leave 5 Zaman Park (Nehr Ghar) at 3 pm for Justice Ramday’s

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Karachi:

Saturday, 8th March:
Flag hoisting:

*Women’s Action Forum (WAF), 11:30 am at Teen Talwar

*Jinnah Medical University (Medicare Hospital), 5 pm, Shaheed e Millat Road

*Iqbal Haider’s House, 6 pm, B-25, Block 4, KDA 5, Clifton (behind Designers on 26th Street)

Sunday, 9th March:
Protest with political parties at 3 pm at Karachi Press Club
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London:


Sunday, 9th March
:
Protest in front of Pakistani High Commission in London 2 PM – 3 PM. Contact Taimur Rehman ( 07825160691) for details.

In Solidarity,
Samad

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Samad Khurram
Harvard College
394 Winthrop House Mail Center
Cambridge, MA 02138
E-Mail: skhurram@fas.harvard.edu
Cell(US): +1-(617)960-7289
Cell(PK): +92-300-5599085


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Emergency@lists.hcs.harvard.edu
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