Nov 7, 2007

NY Rally: Columbia students Press Release

New York, NY -- November 5th, 2007:

We, the Pakistani students at Columbia University, members of Pakistani community in New York, and friends of Pakistan, are demonstrating to condemn the reprehensible and brazen attack on the independence of judiciary and media, and the suspension of the Constitution and fundamental rights in Pakistan by General Pervez Musharraf. We strongly protest against the imposition of Martial Law General Pervez Musharraf in Pakistan on Saturday, November 3 2007 at around 6 PM PST.

As of now the Pakistani people have no basic rights and they stand at the mercy of a brutal and an oppressive regime. They also do not have the support of the judiciary which could check the powers of the police. Bearing the brunt of these attacks are the liberal and progressive elements in the Pakistani society: judiciary, media, opposition leaders, civil society activists and academics. These acts of repression are taking place after the constitution was suspended and the Provisional Constitution Order (PCO) was promulgated.

We, the undersigned, demand General Pervez Musharraf to:

1. Immediately restore the 1973 Constitution and the fundamental rights of the Pakistani people.

2. Restore the judicial system and release all the judges, lawyers, human rights activists, politicians and civil society activists who have been arrested post 2nd Nov 2007.
3. Restore the judges and autonomy of the media.

4. Strike down the draconian measures being used to curb the media’s freedom especially the ‘code of conduct’ promulgated through the Amended Press Ordinance (attached). Allow the broadcast of electronic media and remove any censorship curbs which have been imposed under the Emergency Law.

5. Hold free and fair elections to restore true democracy in Pakistan and put an end to involvement of armed forces in Pakistani Politics.We demand the basic rights in Pakistan and the return to democracy.

Text of the amended Press Ordinance

ISLAMABAD, Nov 3 (APP): President General Pervez Musharraf on Saturday promulgated an ordinance to amend the press, newspapers, news agencies and Books Registration Ordinance, 2002.

Following is the text of the ordinance:
Ordinance No. LXIV of 2007

to amend the Press, Newspapers, News Agencies and Books Registration Ordinance, 2002
Whereas it is expedient to amend the Press, Newspapers, News Agencies and Books registration Ordinance, 2002, (XCVIII of 2002), for the purposes hereinafter appearing;

And Whereas the National Assembly is not in session and the circumstances exist which render it necessary to take immediate action;

Now, Therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (I) of Article 89 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the President is pleased to make and promulgate the following Ordinance;-

1. Short title and commencement. (1) This Ordinance may be called the Press, Newspapers, News Agencies, and Books registration (Amendment) Ordinance, 2007.
(2) It shall come into force at once.

2. General amendment, Ordinance XCVIII of 2002. In the
Press, Newspapers, News Agencies and Books Registration Ordinance, 2002 (XCVIII of 2002), hereinafter referred to as the said Ordinance, after the words "District Coordination Officer", wherever occurring, the words and commas "or, where the District Government has not come into being, the Deputy Commissioner" shall be inserted.

3. Insertion of new section 5A, Ordinance XCVIII of 2002.
In the said Ordinance, after section 5, the following new section shall be inserted, namely:-
"5A. Restriction on publication of certain material. (1) No printer, publisher or editor shall print or publish in any book, periodical or paper any material which consists of,-
(a) photographs or pictures of suicide bombers, terrorists (except as required by law enforcing agencies for purposes of investigation), bodies of victims of terrorist activities, statements and pronouncements of militants and extremist elements and any other thing which may, in any way, promote, aid or abet terrorist activities or terrorism:
(b) graphic or printed representation or projection of statements, comments, observations or pronouncement based on sectarianism, ethnicism or racialism;
(c) any material, printed or graphic, that defames, brings into ridicule or disrepute the Head of State, or members of the Armed Forces or executive, judicial or legislative organs of the State.
(d) any material that is likely jeopardize or be prejudicial to the ideology of Pakistan or t he sovereignty, integrity or security of Pakistan;
(e) any material, photographic or in print, that is likely to incite violence or hatred or create inter-faith disorder or be prejudicial to maintenance of law and order; and
(f) any material that is in conflict with the commonly accepted standards of morality and decency and which promotes vulgarity, obscenity, and pornography."

4. Amendment of section 19, Ordinance XCVIII of 2002. In t he said ordinance, in section 19, after sub-section (2), for the full stop, at the end, a colon shall be substituted and thereafter the following proviso shall be inserted, namely:-
"Provided that in a situation of emergency, pending action under this section, the District Coordination Officer, or as the case may be, the Deputy Commissioner, may suspend the declaration for a period not exceeding thirty days, as deemed appropriate in the circumstances."

5. Amendment of section 44, Ordinance XCVIII of 2002. In the said Ordinance, in section 44, for the word "Government" the words "Federal Government in consultation with the Provincial Governments" shall be substituted.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

lucky people living aboard as a media person we really living under heavy stress , biggest ever threat of life in these days , plz bring back democracy in pakistan condem the mulla army alliance condem fascist party MMA and enemy of democratice force pakistan people party leader who betrayed the pakistani people reall movement of democracy , yes we will bring down the army rule under knee ,bring the army under civilian rule and under the accountabilty and will take the all jerk and rek . just fight 4 cause of democarcy we want freedom from army rule yes to democarcy no to army rule break the shakle plz