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Beena Sarwar on Emergency 2007

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Part of the Documentation for Emergency 2007

Beena-issues post from Wed, 7 Nov 2007 23:47:28 +0500Edit

MEDIA

- Two channels are come back on air, CNBC-Pakistan (stock market

tickers) & Business Plus. All the other news channels are still off air via
cable, although those with satellite get all the broadcasts. Apparently
satellite dishes have been selling like hot cakes. People were also
crowding around lectronics shops with televisions outside broadcasting
through satellites.Today there was an order banning their sale (in Karachi
at least).

- The Washington Post reported that the ISI had picked up Mir Shakilur Rehman, the owner of the largest media group, Jang – In the Heart of Pakistan, a Deep Sense of Anxiety, By Emily Wax -

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpdyn/content/article/2007/11/06/AR2007110600516.html?referrer=emailarticle

(a senior management person I asked about this says that 'they did talk to him and advised him re: the coverage. Later an email was

received saying that if the group wrote anything against the army he & his
family would be hunted down like rats. Also, yesterday we received a
letter, supposedly sent by the Taliban, threatening to blow up Jang & Geo
offices. But as u can see, we are holding steady"). It's a good piece
anyway.

- PTV DETERMINEDLY OPTIMISTIC - TALKED TO NAWAZ SHARIF, ASKING WHY HIS PML-N WEREN'T PART OF ARD mtg at which BB announced a rally in Pindi on

the 9th and a long march on the 13th.  (both of which the govt has
said they will not allow)… PTV also talked to Amin Fahim of PPP -
they've clearly come a long way since the time no opposition was allowed on
air. But the divisions are obvious (which obviously is the design).

- Nuzhat Ahmad writes: "The NYT and the Post have been plastered with Pakistan news. Today's op-ed page in NYT is almost all about Pakistan.

I request everyone to start an organized "letters to the editor"
campaign. It does not matter whether they get published or not. The point is
to have the newspaper receive hundreds of letters urging support for
the people of Pakistan in their struggle.I have already started this in
Philadelphia, and have approached Pakistanis as well as non-Pakistanis,
and most have complied. Please keep the letters short, to the point,
and avoid a rant. The e-mail addresses are as follows:
letters@nytimes.com<letters%40nytimes.com> &
  letters@washpost.com <letters%40washpost.com>" (P.S. I would add,

please post copies of the letters to the Emergency Wiki page - http://pakistan.wikia.com/wiki/Emergency_2007)

CITIZENS PROTESTS:

- In Lahore LUMS students staged another protest, despite their campus being surrounded by police. EXTREMELY IMPORTANT: PLEASE BLUR ALL

PICTURES BEFORE YOU SPREAD THEM! 15 LUMS students have been identified;
police are demanded that they be handed over for detention

- A group of citizens presented several bouquets of flowers to Sindh

Chief Justice Sabihuddin Ahmed at his residence today. Police vans on
either end of his lane blocked cars from going through so the citizens
parked on the main road and walked down the lane without any obstructions.

- Another group of about 40 did a brief demonstration in Karachi.

- An activist who attended two protests in Islamabad today says they were both very good - "the one in front of the kacheri was typical of

the civil society - about 150 ppl... it was very peaceful - policemen
said they were there to safeguard us ehhehehhe. The one in the evening in
front of parliament was huge by Islamabad standards - 500 or so - and
police released tear gas when ppl tried to break through the
barricades. And they had speakers the size of me with faiz's

poem blaring and people dancing in the lights of cars."

According to PTV News, the protest in front of Parliament was called by the PPP. A few people were arrested – but they didn't show these

visuals like the offending TV channels do.

- Boston is getting activated for a protest (Saturday, Boston Common at

Brewer Fountain on the Tremont St side, 10 am-12 noon I believe -
contact saadmustafa.rizvi@gmail.com or at 857-334-8012). Chicago protest
also coming up.

FOOTNOTE:

Since we're being forced to watch 'pitti hui news' - the PTV newscaster

and talk show hosts sound terribly self-congratulatory on behalf of
the government. But they can't hide the fact that the parliamentary
session they are showing is half empty and
totally lackluster. Shaukat Aziz just said congratulated the house for
being the first to complete its term, and stressed that democracy has
been brought to Pakistan!!!

Beena-issues post from Wed, 07 Nov 2007 06:57:56 -0000Edit

As the police and law enforcing agencies are busy rounding up civil rights activists and lawyers in the rest of the country, the Taliban are taking over the north-western territories - according to today's newspapers, a third town in Swat has fallen to them. According to a reporter in Peshawar said at one place they were seen driving around in an APC left behind the state forces.

Meanwhile, the media blackout in Pakistan continues. PFUJ has given the government a 48-hour deadline to withdraw the the two Ordinances against print and electronic media, end the blockade of private tv news channels, FM-radios (See message from Mazhar Abbas, Secretary General PFUJ below). There was a big protest meeting at the Karachi Press Club yesterday.

There have been reports all over the country of protests, some reported in the papers and some not. Protestors blocked the KKH Highway the other day, there were also reports coming in from smaller towns like Badin in Sindh.

The papers tend to report protests in the major cities in more details - eg some 500 Quaid-e-Azam University students & some faculty joined in 'flash protests' in Islamabad & there were also other such protests in the capital - http://www.dawn. com/2007/ 11/07/nat1. htm. Yesterday's papers also carried reports of a protest by some 400 LUMS (Lahore University of Management Sciences) students and teachers. After a long time, students are joining the democratic political struggle.

beena

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