Peace activists urge India-Pakistan Judicial Committee to make efforts for release of prisoners

July 2010: Indian fishermen being bussed to Wagah border for repatriation

Received earlier today from Jatin Desai

Press Release: Peace activists urge India-Pakistan Judicial Committee to make efforts for release of prisoners

Pakistani and Indian peace activists have urged India-Pakistan Judicial Committee on Prisoners to recommend to both the governments to immediately release all Pakistani and Indian prisoners who are languishing in each other’s jails even after completing their periods of sentence and to establish a Joint Commission to devise a mechanism to determine and demarcate the maritime boundaries in a way that is visible to the fishermen of both countries. Continue reading

Sherry Rehman Appeals to Government to file Mukhtara Mai’s Review in Court

Mukhtiar Mai: Justice delayed, then denied. Still from my documentary "Mukhtiar Mai: The Struggle for Justice" (2006)

Sherry Rehman Appeals to Government to file Mukhtara Mai’s Review in Court.

Islamabad, 22nd April 2011: Speaking on a point of order in the National Assembly, former minister and MNA Sherry Rehman has asked the government to not just provide security to Mukhtara Mai, but to file a review appeal in the Supreme Court. Continue reading

Rajasthan Home Secretary, PUCL, join hands for Dr Chishty

PUCL General Secretary Kavita Srivastava: fighting for a cause

Note: Report compiled from information sent by Kavita Srivastava, General Secretary PUCL, to Dr Chishty’s family and those engaged in working for his release.

With the sympathetic involvement of the Government of Rajasthan and the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), hope rises for a Pakistani prisoner, retired virologist Dr Khaleel Chishty, 78, who has been under trial for nearly 19 years before an Ajmer sessions court finally pronounced sentence in January this year, convicting him to life imprisonment (14 years). Continue reading

Aman ki Asha and a daughter’s appeal

Ajmer, Jan 2011: Unable to walk, Dr Chishty is carried to the courtroom. Photo: TOI

In humanity’s name: Aman ki Asha has been campaigning for clemency towards cross-border prisoners – young boys who stray across by mistake or in search of ‘Bollywood’, fishermen who cross the maritime border, families who have committed minor transgressions, long-term prisoners incarcerated for years on either side, until their story is taken up by human rights activists and media…. See articles compiled at the Aman ki Asha website at the link ‘In humanity’s name‘. Four articles, including the one below, published today, available at this link.

A campaign is building up in India for the release of an elderly retired Pakistani professor detained for over 19 years

By Beena Sarwar Continue reading

Jashne Faiz – CFD Resolution

Karachi, you were wonderful tonight. Photo: Sabeen Mahmud

April 17: Karachi, you were wonderful tonight. Great event, attended by about 30,000 people. See the text of the resolution (long version as well as short version read out in the plenary) at the Citzens for Democracy blog.

Congratulations to the CFD team for making this happen. This is our Pakistan.

Dr Chishty: update from Kavita Srivastava, PUCL

Below, a heartening and hopeful account of Dr Chishty’s situation via email from Kavita Srivastava of People’s Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL), India, after meeting him at Ajmer prison hospital, addressed to Dr Chishty’s daughters and others involved in trying to provide him relief. The petition seeking pardon for Dr Chishty under Articles 72 and 161 of the Constitution has been sent to the President of India as well as the  Governor of Rajasthan, signed by Mahesh Bhat, Kuldeep Nayyar, Jatin Desai, Kavita Srivastava and Adml. Ramu Ramdas. It is encouraging that the Indian media is taking up the case with greater vigour.  Below, Kavita’s email, reproduced with permission.  Continue reading

Dr Chishty incarceration: details from his daughter Amna Chishty

Photo of Dr Chishty taken in 2007 when his daughter was able to visit him

16th April 2011

Details of my father’s case:

Before I go into his case a brief background of my father:

He is almost 80 years old. He received his PhD from University of Edinburgh, Scotland in 1968 in Public Health Virology. He had an illustrious career as a professor and head of department of virology and microbiology at Karachi University. In the late 80’s he retired from his last job as the Director of Public Health at King Abdul Aziz Airport in Jeddah Saudi Arabia. He is a principled man who is well‐read, well bred and well traveled. He worked hard to raise a family of six children – one son (oldest, with engineering diploma), five daughters (one is a doctor, one is a Pharmacologist, two are graduates and myself an MBA in marketing). He educated us and built a house for us in Karachi and supported his younger brother in India as well. After retirement he wanted to live in that house in Karachi and enjoy his retirement with his family and his grandchildren.

The following events led to his current plight: Continue reading

Jashne-Faiz April 17, 2011, Karachi: event details

Check out the Citizens for Democracy blog for details about a great all-day event

Sunday, April 17, 2011, 11.30 am-12.30 midnight

Jashne Faiz, CDGK Sports Complex, Karachi

Seminars, theatre, music, art, speakers’ corner, food court, children’s play area, plus plenary session with music concert (inclusing Strings, Laal, Shehzad Roy, Arieb Azhar and others) and resolutions; culminating in mushaira

Don’t forget to pre-register at the CFD website – www.cfdpk.org

Days of Hope and Challenge: Understanding the Middle East and South/Central Asia

Noam Chomsky giving his talk at the event

Below, text of my talk at Boston University, April 14, 2011, organised by American Friends Service Committee, that United for Justice with Peace helped publicise, as a fundraiser for AFSC. (I didn’t read out the paper but it was useful to organise my thoughts; Chomsky focused on the Middle East as expected)

Boston, April 14, 2011

Beena Sarwar

Days of Hope and Challenge: Understanding the Middle East and South/Central Asia Continue reading

Dr Chishty’s imprisonment: his daughter Amna’s update

Received an email this morning from Amna Chishty in Canada, copied to various people working to secure the release of her father, the aged Pakistani professor Dr Khalil Chishty, a prisoner in India for over 19 years, currently in Ajmer Prison hospital (report in The Hindu April 15, editorial in The News on April 13). She expresses her family’s gratitude for the continued efforts to help Dr Chishty and bring his case to the forefront and stresses the following points that need to be highlighted in the media:
Continue reading

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