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Pakistan: Student Protests, Police and the Underground Life

Students in Pakistan have joined activists in protesting the state of emergency imposed in the country. On 3rd November, the Lahore School of Management Sciences (LUMS) released a draft resolution on behalf of the faculty, students and staff condemning “gross political injustices that the nation has experienced in the past few months – more so, we take liberty to condemn the ethereal blockage imposed by the executive by the declaration of a Martial Law in the country.”. RedDiaryPk has the entire text of the resolution

We, the LUMS community, reach a collective consensus that the problems that the military run government declares as responsible for the need to declare the current state of emergency are its own pandemic. We, therefore, refuse to acknowledge any attempt by the government to employ the ‘doctrine of necessity’ and call upon the same to immediately lift the martial law as per instructions of the Supreme Court.

Teeth Maestro has a message from Osama Siddique, a university professor who was arrested. The Emergency Times reports on students of LUMS joining a protest on the 5th of November.

Yes the very depoliticized student society that our leaders have taken for granted and grown so accustomed to, has awoken from its decades long slumber with a roar, that enough is enough. No longer are we going to be conformist to our governments policies, as if we have no choice, no longer are we going to be scared to question or raise our voice because we are intimidated by the state’s power and what may be done to us; no longer are we going to refrain from action, from sheer complacency.

On the 7th of November, over a 1000 students of LUMS gathered as part of a protest. The protest went on despite the police warning them that any protest-related activity, even within the campus would result in a baton charge. It was further let on that the names of the students at the helm of the movement were known, and that they would be specifically targeted. The Emergency Times has a post detailing the protest activities and its consequences.

Right after this, about half the number of initial protestors carried out a silent, peaceful protest where they simply sat down in front of the Main Entrance in front of the police personnel. Most of the protestors placed masking tapes over their mouths, in a show of silent solidarity as they faced the police. At this time, all media personnel attempting to leave the campus were accosted by police with their cameras confiscated. The Police presence since then has multiplied and they are still at the gates. Reports are that they have been ordered to procure at least 15 people for detainment. The administration has denied them thus far. They remain outside. We are not sure what the outcome will be.

In the FAST University campus also held a protest. Metroblogging Lahore provides a timeline of the events at the university.

Police has released the three guys arrested earlier but are still inside the campus insisting that the guys who were holding the placards, charts etc should be handed over to police's custody. The atmosphere is quite tense a the campus. Other faculty members are out there with the students.

Videos are appearing on YouTube of some of the student protests. This one has students marching, and shouting slogans. Another video can be seen here. Some of the slogans I could catch –

“Go Musharraf! Go!”
“Laathi Goli Ki Sarkar, Nahin Chalegi, Nahin Chalegi!” (Trans. This Baton and Bullet Government, Will not do! Will not do!)
“Musharraf ___ gaddar hai” (Trans. Musharraf is a traitor)

Metroblogging Lahore had an update by an alumni of FAST university.

When we, the protesters were just 5-10, they were already 15-20 in number, some in police uniform and some in plain clothes. As the number of protesters grew to around 20 or a bit more when the people passing by also joined us (or just stayed there to watch the ‘drama’) the police started getting a bit violent. They started to push every individual to move and started asking them where are you from and noting down the details?

Democracy and Freedom has some live reports on various protests in various universities, including two in Islamabad.

Protest in Islamic University, Islamabad, where hundred of student gathered, same information is with reference to the Quaide-eAzam University Islamabad, where also students boycott the classes & participated in a huge demonstration in campus, Police also reached at both the campuses & successfully performed his duty to arrest some students.

Meanwhile, the General Secretary of the Labour Party documents life on the run at LeftClick.

We bought some more sims on anonymous names. I had to arrange a new place to stay. My friends are fantastic. They are all waiting when I call them to stay the night. I am not staying at LPP comrade’s houses as they are already under surveillance. I had a good night and good sleep after I arrived the place of my friend traveling over one hour in a public bus.

12 comments

  • Ange Embuldeniya

    Oh wonderful! i’ve been looking to buy anon pak sims too, thanks, i feel happy that i’m not the only one :)

  • cHANGERS

    GREAT WORK,, INSHAH ALLAH WE THE STUDENTS OF OTHER UNIVERSITies will join u soon.. WE SALUATE THE STUDENTS OF LUMS & FAST FOR THIS BRAVE EFFORTS….. GO MUSHRAF GO , LONG LIVE LAWYERS,, LONG LIVE STUDENTS.. MAY WE GET SUCEESS SOON , AMIN

  • […] Students in Pakistan have joined activists in protesting the state of emergency imposed in the country. On 3rd November, the Lahore School of Management Sciences (LUMS) released a draft resolution on behalf of the faculty, students and staff condemning “gross political injustices that the nation has experienced in the past few months – more so, we take liberty to condemn the ethereal blockage imposed by the executive by the declaration of a Martial Law in the country.”. RedDiaryPk has the entire text of the resolution. Read Complete Story […]

  • Just to add to the list of blogs – http://www.pakistanmartiallaw.blogspot.com

  • […] over that of Pakistan’s as well – Global Voices’ Neha Viswanthan rounds up posts in Student Protests, Police, and the Underground Life while Amira Al Hussaini presents A Middle Eastern […]

  • Hi all, thank you for the discussions. Shanta Devarajan, Chief Economist of the World Bank South Asia Region, comments on his blog (http://endpovertyinsouthasia.worldbank.org/) about the situation in Pakistan and also has an upcoming discussion session with students on poverty in the region. Shanta encourages your comments and questions to be posted here:
    http://endpovertyinsouthasia.worldbank.org/call-young-people-lets-end-poverty-south-asia-now

  • At least some hope that nation is still alive!

    In Islamabad over 100 kids from age group 15-18 protested against Musharaf in very peaceful manner. They were still scooped up by police and detailed till mother of one of them signed bond for good behavior of all the kids!

    Its amazing that this time Pakistanis are learning to do wonderful and peaceful protests!

  • Peter

    Can anyone tell us wich political groups are involved in these protests?

  • MJ

    No political groups. Just students, which is what makes this amazing. In fact, the students over at LUMS turned down the invitation of Benazir Bhutto when she invited them to her house after the LUMS protest. They said they dont want a political affiliation since this is more of a social cause for the country. Same is true for students at other campuses. Even the protest yesterday at Punjab University that was sparked by the arrest of Imran Khan was not a protest by his political party. It was a general students protest demandind restoration of the constitution and the Supreme Court judges.

  • Peter, the most visible political groups involved in these rallies are the PTI (e-Insaf), PPP (Pakistan’s People Party), the IJT (Islami Jamait Talba) — they seem to be under pressure of multiple boycotts due to their manhandling of Imran Khan on Wednesday, PML-N (Nawaz Shariff’s party) and the Awami National Party.

    Obviously there are other groups out there, but these are the folks behind the majority of rallies, additionally PML-Q (Government’s party) and MQM (the government’s sidekicks :P) have staged a couple of pro-government protests, but not have collected much wind, so to speak.

    ;0

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