Civil society terms “memogate” scandal an attempt to thwart democracy

Ad pubished in The Daily Times, Dec 23, 2011

Please note, the names on the signatories list will be updated as more endorsements are coming in.

PRESS RELEASE, December 17, 2011

Civil society terms “memogate” scandal an attempt to thwart democracy; Says threatening the representative system tantamount to attack on sovereignty of people. Read on for the text of the statement and the signatories’ list

We, the representatives of the Civil Society including non-governmental organisations, labour organisations, academia, women’s rights bodies, and media persons express deep concern over the current political situation in the country where a crisis is being manufactured on frivolous grounds, and is being referred as the so-called “memogate”. This has the potential of subverting democratically elected Parliament and the Constitution.

It is time all conspirators against democracy and the sovereignty of the people be called to account. Sovereignty belongs to the people who have agreed to exercise it through their representatives in a federal, parliamentary, and a democratic system. Any attempt at arbitrarily altering this arrangement is tantamount to an attack on the sovereignty of the people. Various institutions of the state are supposed to function within their defined constitutional parameters and complement each other but they seem to be working at cross-purposes, to the determent of public interest.

We emphasise that the role of political parties and political leaders is to represent their constituents’ interests and arrive at negotiated agreements to differences in agreed political forums.

The role of state’s security organizations is to serve the people through stipulated constitutional arrangements, under the command of the executive, and not to define what is or is not in the national interest.

The role of the judiciary is to protect the rights of the citizens from arbitrary abuse of executive power, and not to itself become a source of arbitrary executive power.

The role of the mass media is to help citizens hold powerful interests groups within and outside the state to promote their legitimate interests and hold violators of rights accountable, and not to itself act as an unaccountable interest group.

In our opinion, parliament is the appropriate forum to discuss and investigate this issue and come up with findings.

We believe that any attack on the sovereignty of the people will be unjust. It will necessarily lead to conflict and must be resisted.

We appeal to the people of Pakistan to stand united and firm in support of democracy and to resist all attempts aimed at its subversion. The people of Pakistan have made great many sacrifices for the cause of democracy and they should not let any vested interests trample their right to have a democratic and an elected representative system run the country.

Undersigned (in alphabetical order by first name)

  1. Abdulrahman Rafiq, Founder & Operations Coordinator SA Relief
  2. Abrar Qazi, Awami President Awami Jamhori Party
  3. Adam Malik, Human Rights Activist
  4. Adnan Rehmat, Executive Director Intermedia
  5. Aisha Gazdar, documentary filmmaker
  6. Ali Asghar Khan, Aman Ittehad, Pakistan
  7. Ali Raza, Shirkat Gah
  8. Amir Aziz Syed, businessman
  9. Anis Haroon, Women Action Forum
  10. Arif Hasan, Architect, Urban Planner,
  11. Arshad Mehmood, Executive Director Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child
  12. Arshid Mirza, Baidarie Sialkot
  13. Asad Mufty, columnist daily Jang.
  14. Asad Rahman, Sungi Foundation
  15. Asad Sayeed, Director, Collective for Social Science Research, Karachi
  16. Ayesha Ijaz Khan, lawyer, writer
  17. Ayesha Tammy Haq, journalist
  18. Aziz Abbasi, President Watan Dost Mazdoor Federation
  19. B. M Kutty, Secretary, Pakistan Peace Coalition
  20. Babar Ayaz, journalist
  21. Beena Sarwar, Independent Journalist
  22. Bushra Khaliq,
  23. Danial Noorani, social worker
  24. Dr Haroon Ahmed, President Pakistan Mental Health Association
  25. Dr. Abid Qayoum Suleri, Executive Director Sustainable Development Policy Institute
  26. Dr. Aly Ercelan, Senior Development Economist
  27. Dr. Arif Azad, Development Consultant and Campaigner
  28. Dr. Badar Siddiqui, Ex-President, Pakistan Medical Association,
  29. Dr. Jaffar Ahmed, Irtiqa Institute of Social Science,
  30. Dr. Kaisar Bengali, Senior Economist
  31. Dr. Manzoor Ahmed Awan, Director Program Operations, Sungi Development Foundation
  32. Dr. Mohammad Taqi, Columnist/Physician
  33. Dr. Pervez Tahir, Economist
  34. Dr. Taimur Rahman, Laal
  35. Faiza Haswary, Lecturer, Hameed Law College, Karachi
  36. Farooq Tariq, Spokesperson, Labor Party Pakistan
  37. Fatima Zafar, National Focal Point, Youth Peer Education Network Multan
  38. Fauzia Viqar, Shirkat Gah
  39. Ghulam Fatima, Executive Member BLLF
  40. Haider Nizamani, Human Rights Activist
  41. Haris Gazdar, Independent Economist
  42. Harris Khalique, Development Consultant
  43. Hassam Qadir Shah, Lawyer
  44. Hoori Noorani, Publisher
  45. Human Fouladi, Aman Ittehad Balochistan
  46. Ibrahim Malick, Technologist, Social Entrepreneur
  47. Idrees Kamal, Coordinator Pakhtunkhwa Civil Society Network
  48. Iqbal Alavi and Friends of Irtiqa and National Council of Academics
  49. Iqbal Tareen
  50. Irfan Ali, Aman Ittehad, Balochistan
  51. Irfan Mufti, South Asia Partnership -Pakistan
  52. Ishaq Mangrio, Independent Journalist,
  53. Jaffar Memon, We Journalists,
  54. Jami Chandio, Executive Director, Centre for Peace and Civil Society,
  55. Jugnu Mohsin, The Friday Times
  56. Kamran Noorani, Businessman
  57. Kamran Shafi, Columnist
  58. Karamat Ali, Executive Director, Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research,
  59. Kausar S. Khan, Women Action Forum
  60. Khawar Mumtaz, Shirkat Gah,
  61. Lala Hassan, Co-convener Asian Muslims Lawyers Human Rights Network for South
  62. Lateef Mughal, General Secretary, Peoples Workers Union KESC
  63. Mansoor Ahmed, SAP-Pakistan
  64. Maqbool Dal, President, Village Community Development Organization Mirpur Khas
  65. Marvi Sirmed, Columnist Daily Times
  66. Masood Punjabi, trade union activist Sweden
  67. Mehnaz Rehman, Regional Director Aurat Foundation,
  68. Mirza Abdul Shakoor, Executive Director, Community Development Concern, Sialkot
  69. Mirza Yusuf Agha
  70. Mohammad Ali Shah, Chairperson Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF)
  71. Mohammad Tahseen, Executive Director, South Asia Partnership Pakistan,
  72. Mohammad Waseem, IRC Lahore
  73. Mohsin Sayeed, journalist
  74. Mola Bux Leghari, Executive Director, SPEACH Development org, Dadu, Sindh
  75. Mumtaz Mughal, Aman Ittehad Punjab
  76. Naeem Mirza, Aurat Foundation
  77. Naeema Malik, South Asia Partnership -Pakistan
  78. Najam Sethi, anchor, Geo TV
  79. Najma Sadeque, Women Action Forum
  80. Naseer Memon, Chief Executive, Strengthening Participatory Organization, SPO,
  81. Nasir Iqbal, Lahore Social Forum
  82. Nasir Mumtaz, Kashf Foundation
  83. Nasreen Azhar, Women Action Forum
  84. Naushad Shafkat, lawyer
  85. Nausheen Ahmad, Advocate
  86. Naziha Syed Ali, journalist
  87. Nazim F Haji, industrialist, Former Chief Citizens Police Liaison Committee,
  88. Nazir Ghazi, Godh Lahore
  89. Nazish Brohi, Women Action Forum
  90. Nighat Saeed Khan, ASR Resource Centre and Women Action Forum
  91. Noman Quadri, student, Karachi
  92. Omar Ali, Columnist and Moderator Asia Space
  93. Peter Jacob, National Commission for Peace and Justice
  94. Prof. Arfana Mallah, President, Sindh University Teachers Association,
  95. Prof. Dr. Ijaz Khan, Chairman, Department of International Relations, University of Peshawar
  96. Punhal Saryo, President, Sindh Hari Porhiat Council,
  97. Qamar Hayat, Executive Director Sahara Development Foundation,
  98. Rabia Khan, Women Rights Activist, Karachi
  99. Rahat Saeed, Acting Secretary General, Progressive Writers Association Pakistan
  100. Raja Abbas, ANCE Lahore
  101. Rana Bilal, Youth Parliament Pakistan
  102. Rana Riaz Saeed, Development Activist and Lobbyist
  103. Rashida Dohad, Omar Asghar Khan Foundation
  104. Raza Rumi, writer/columnist
  105. Raziq Fahim, Director, College of Youth Activism and Development
  106. Rehana Shaikh, Institute of Social Policy
  107. Rubina Jamil, NTUF
  108. Sabahat Ashraf, “iFaqeer” Communicator, Citizen
  109. Sabiha Shaheen, Bargad Foundation Gujranwala
  110. Saeed Ahmed Rid, Commonwealth Scholar, Peace Studies, University of Bradford, UK & Lecturer, National Institute of Pakistan Studies (NIPS), Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad.
  111. Saeeda Diep, Institute for Peace and Secular Studies
  112. Salima Hashmi, Artist and Academician
  113. Samina Khan, Executive Director Sungi Development Foundation
  114. Sayed Masud-ul Hassan
  115. Shahvaar Ali Khan, musician, writer, ad man, peacenik
  116. Shahzad Ahmad, Country Coordinator, Bytes for All, Pakistan
  117. Shaikh Tanveer Ahmed, Chief Executive HANDS Pakistan
  118. Sheema Kermani, Tehreek –e- Niswan
  119. Sheen Farrukh, Inter Press Communications,
  120. Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi, Chair & Founder Pakistan Youth Alliance, Central Executive Committee, Khudi Pakistan
  121. Tasneem Ahmed Siddiqui, Chairman, Saiban, Former Chief Secretary Sindh,
  122. Ume Laila, Home Net Pakistan
  123. Uzma Noorani, Council Member HRCP
  124. Waseem Akram, SAP-Pakistan
  125. Zahid Islam, Director, SANGAT-Lahore
  126. Zia Banday
  127. Zia Rehaman, AWAZ CDS Multan
  128. Zohra Yusuf, human rights activist, Karachi
  129. Zubaida Noor, Noor Education Trust, Peshawar
  130. Zubair Faisal Abbasi, Development Consultant
  131. Zubair Malik, STEP, Khushab
  132. Zulfiqar Halepoto, Sindh Democratic Forum
  133. Zulfiqar Shah, Institute for Social Movements Pakistan

10 Responses

  1. I endorse this statement.


  2. That is just great. This IS a plot against democracy and we must not allow it to succeed.


  3. I endorse this statement.

    Saeed Ahmed Rid
    Commonwealth Scholar
    Peace Studies
    University of Bradford, UK

    National Institute of Pakistan Studies (NIPS)
    Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad.


  4. I endorse this statement, the democracy should not be derailed at any cost.
    Zubaida Noor.
    Noor Education Trust.


  5. I don’ see my name in the list though I have endorsed this on the 19th.
    Could you please check.
    Naushad Shafkat


  6. […] Civil society terms “memogate” scandal an attempt to thwart democracy […]


  7. democracy is great power for a public to stand against the power of parliement and ruler of country this is my point of view ………………………


  8. […] Civil society terms “memogate” scandal an attempt to thwart democracy […]


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