Concern for Pakistan democratic process, safety of human rights defenders

Citizens’ statement of concern about the democratic process in Pakistan democratic and safety of human rights defenders, to be released to the media on Jan 5, 2012 (to endorse, please enter your information in the form at this link)

We, the undersigned, express our grave concern that Pakistani human rights defenders are being threatened and intimidated for their stance in the ‘memogate’ case. We are also concerned at the danger this crisis poses to Pakistan’s democratic political process that had taken a step forward with the elections of 2008.

No elected civilian government in Pakistan has yet completed its tenure and handed over power to the next government following democratic elections. If the current government manages to do this, it will be a first step in an ongoing process that is essential to Pakistan’s peace, progress and prosperity in the long run.

Those under threat include former Ambassador of Pakistan to the US, Husain Haqqani, who returned to Pakistan and tendered his resignation in order to ensure a free and fair inquiry into the ‘memogate’ matter that he is accused of engineering.

The so-called ‘memogate’ affair revolves around a letter that Amb Haqqani is accused of sending to then US Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mullen allegedly at the behest of Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari, seeking American help to prevent a military coup in Pakistan. Mansur Ijaz, an American businessman of Pakistani origin, delivered the note to former US National Security Advisor Gen. James Jones to pass on to Adml Mullen allegedly at Amb Haqqani’s behest. Amb Haqqani has denied writing any such memo at anyone’s behest or asking Ijaz to deliver it to anyone.

Amb Haqqani has been barred from leaving the country, which is a denial of his fundamental right as a free citizen of Pakistan. Under threat both by the ‘religious’ extremists and the security agencies, he is currently a virtual prisoner confined for his own safety to the Prime Minister’s residence.

Also facing threats is his lawyer, former Supreme Court Bar Association President, Asma Jahangir, who has termed the Supreme Court judgment of Dec 30, 2011 a “victory” for the security establishment that she alleges is behind the case.

Amb Haqqani’s wife, Farahnaz Ispahani, a Member of Pakistan’s Parliament, also threatened, is currently in the US where she had come for medical checkups. Columnist Marvi Sirmed, who has written fearlessly against the ‘religious’ extremists and in support of Amb Haqqani, has also been receiving threats, Columnist Marvi Sirmed, who has written fearlessly against the ‘religious’ extremists and in support of Amb Haqqani, has also been receiving threats, as has senior journalist Najam Sethi. There are numerous other journalists and activists who live under threat for their outspoken views; some are forced to seek politial asylum abroad. This is essentially the case with anyone in Pakistan who counters or challenges the narrative of the ideological security state.

Without going into merits of the case, obvious contradictions in the ‘evidence’, or political motivations behind it, it is evident that it is at the crux of a matter vital to Pakistan’s politics, that is, whether Pakistan is going to be run by a civilian elected government along the lines of a parliamentary democracy that ensures fundamental rights, or along the lines of a ideological narrative dictated by the security establishment that holds fundamental rights subservient to its interpretation of ‘national security’.

Too many people in Pakistan have fallen to the ideological monster unleashed by the establishment pursuing a narrow, ideological interpretation of ‘national security’. It is time for a fundamental paradigm shift in Pakistan’s politics, to allow the nation to fulfill its potential as a progressive, forward looking South Asian nation at peace with its neighbours and the world. We urge the Pakistan government, judiciary and security establishment to play their constitutional roles, cooperate with each other and focus on re-establishing the rule of law and in order to make this possible.

In the meantime, be aware that the world is watching to ensure that no harm comes to those who are taking a stand towards this end.

Endorsed (listed alphabetically; names still coming in are being updated; please endorse at this link):

1. A. Chhachhi, Sociologist, Netherlands
2. A. Kamal, Economist, Pakistan
3. Abbas Syed, Secretary, South Asian Workers Alliance Canada, Toronto, Canada
4. Abdul Ghafoor Chaudhry, Social Activist, Canada
5. Abdul Hameed Nayyar, Physicist, Lahore
6. Abdul Hamid Bashani Khan, Barrister, Solicitor & Notary Public, Canada
7. Abdullah Hussein, Novelist, Lahore
8. Adnan Rehmat, Executive Director, Intermedia Pakistan,
9. Afsan Chowdhury , Research Associate. York Centre for Asian Research, York University Toronto. Canada ,
10. Afzal Tahir, Kashmir International Front/United Kashmir Journal, London, United Kingdom,
11. Ahmad Rafay Alam, Lawyer
12. Ajmal Jan, Student, United Kingdom
13. Ali Arqam, Blogger, Social Activist, Peshawar
14. Ali Kazmi, Student, Islamabad, Pakistan
15. Ali Sethi, Writer, Lahore
16. Ali Zeeshan Ijaz, Researcher
17. Amar Sindhu, Human Right Activist, Hyderabad, Sindh
18. Ambassador Dr. Muhammad Shahid Amin Khan, World Chairman International Human Rights Commission, Islamabad
19. Amina Samee Bari, Homemaker, Ireland
20. Ammar Yasir, Marketing Head, Tea Break Networks, Karachi
21. Ammara Durrani, Citizen of Democratic Republic of Pakistan
22. Anita G. Aquino, SPMUDA Global, Bahrain
23. Annie Syedah, Student, United States
24. Anthony Permal, Senior Markeing Manager – Oil & Gas, Defence, Dubai, UAE
25. Anushka Jatoi, Student, Karachi
26. Arfana Mallah, Human Right Activist, Hyderabad, Sindh
27. Arif Hasan, Architect/Planner, Chairperson Urban Resource Centre, Karachi
28. Arshad Khalil, Director Admin & Finance , Peshawar Pukhtonkhwa
29. Arshad Mahmood, Human Rights Activist, Islamabad, Pakistan
30. Arshed Bhatti, Civil Junction, Islamabad
31. Asad Ullah Jan, Citizen, Peshawar Pakistan
32. Asif Khan, Earth Day Network, Washington DC
33. Attaullah Beg, NCHD, Hunza
34. Ayesha Humayun Khan, Citizen of Pakistan,, Dubai
35. Ayesha Jalal, historian, Boston/Lahore
36. Ayesha Siddiqa, Political Scientist, Pakistan
37. Ayyaz, Analyst
38. Azhar Hmed, Citzen
39. Badri Raina, Columnist, Delhi, India
40. Beena Sarwar, journalist
41. Celine Ramsey, Citizen, Italy
42. Dervaish Khan, Student
43. Dr Abdullah Qureshi, Medical Doctor, Verona,Italy
44. Dr Haseeb Ahmad, Medical Doctor, Jeddah Saudi Arabia
45. Dr Pritam Singh DPhil, Reader in Economics, Faculty of Business, Oxford Brookes University, UK
46. Dr. Ijaz Khan, Professor of International relations, University of Peshawar
47. Dr. Ilmana Fasih, physician, health activist, blogger, Canada
48. Dr. Mazhar Ali Bari, CEO of Solarprint/Physicist, Ireland
49. Dr. Mohammad Taqi, Physician & Columnist
50. Dr. Osama Siddique, Law Professor, Pakistan
51. Dr. Sandra H. Tarlin, Poet, Usa
52. Faisal Mahmood, Officer in National Bank, Malir
53. Fakhar Ul-Islam, Project Manager, United Kingdom
54. Faraz Sheikh, social activist, Lahore
55. Farooq Sulehria, Student, London
56. Farooq Tariq, spokesperson Labour Party Pakistan, Lahore
57. Farrukh Azfar, Physicist: University Of Oxford, Oxford, Uk
58. Fauzia Viqar, Shirkat Gah, Lahore
59. Fayaz Ahmad, Historian, Peshawar
60. Fazil Jamili, Poet, Journalist
61. Fouzia Saeed, human rights activist
62. Ghazi Salahuddin, journalist and columnist, Karachi
63. Githa Hariharan, Writer
64. Hamad Ur Rehman, CEO/ a human and social rights activist., Lyallpur.
65. Haris Gazdar, researcher
66. Harry Pasha, Director, AZCom, USA
67. Harsh Kapoor, South Asia Citizens Web (
68. Hilda Saeed, Women’s rights activist, Pakistan
69. Hilde Jacobs, Pensioner and book writer , Germany
70. I.A. Rehman, senior journalist, Director HRCP
71. Ibrahim Sajid Malick, Technologist, New York
72. Iqbal Alavi, social activist
73. Irfan Mufti, South Asia Partnership Pakistan, Lahore, Pakistan
74. Jami Chandio, Executive Director Centre For Peace And Civil Society & Editor Quarterly Journal ‘Freedom
75. Jatin Desai, Journalist, India
76. Javed Anand, Muslims for Secular Democracy, India
77. Jehan Ara, Blogger & Activist, Karachi
78. Kamran Rehmat, Editor, Islamabad
79. Kamran Shafi, Columnist,
80. Kamyla Marvi, Citizen, Karachi
81. Karamat Ali, Labour Rights and Peace activist
82. Kausar S Khan, WAF Karachi,
83. Khadija Ali, Lawyer & Human Rights Activist,
84. Khawar Mumtaz, Shirkat Gah. Pakistan,
85. Kiran Nazish, Journalist, Activist, Lahore,
86. Krishna Lal, Counselor, Hyderabad
87. Latif Afridi, Vice chairman, Pakistan Bar Council, Peshawar
88. Mahvish Inayat, Student, London
89. Maliha Husain, Program Director, Mehergarh, Islamabad
90. Malik Rashid, Taxi Driver,
91. Maria Khan, Student, Johns Hopkins University
92. Marieme Helie Lucas, Algerian sociologist , founder of Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML)
93. Max Babri, Concerned Citizen, Lahore
94. Mazhar Arif, Executive Director, Society for Alternative Media and Research (SAMAR), Islamabad
95. Meera Ghani, Environmental and Peace Activist, Belgium
96. Mehmal Sarfraz, Journalist, Lahore
97. Mehr Alwy, Finance Manager, UK
98. Mehre , House Hold, United States
99. Michael Renner,, Researcher, U.S. / Germany
100. Mohammad Zia-ur-Rehman, Chief Executive AWAZ CDS-Pakistan
101. Mohsin Sayeed, Journalist, Karachi
102. Moniza Inam, journalist, Dawn, Karachi
103. Muhammad Amjad, Struggle, Glasgow Uk
104. Muhammad Idris Khattak, Researcher OSI, Pakistan
105. Muhammad Younis, E/Vice President Al Maryam Development Trust and Member of HRCP, UK Bradford
106. Muhammad Zaeem, President Scholars Forum Ppp, Oklahoma University,Ok
107. Muhammad Zubair, Assistant Professor, USA
108. Mukesh Meghwar, Mehergarh (Volunteer Coordinator), Hyderabad
109. Mukul Dube Delhi Writer, editor, photographer
110. Mukul Mangalik, Associate Professor Of History, Ramjas College, University Of Delhi
111. Murtaza Razvi, journalist, Pakistan
112. N. D. Pancholi, Secretary, Indian Renaissance Institute, Ghaziabad (UP), India
113. Nadeem Yousafi, Businessman, Peshawar, Pakistan.
114. Narjis Ahmed Khan, Coordinator,Aasha, Legal Aid Centre Karachi, Karachi
115. Naveen Naqvi, Exec Dir Gawaahi, Karachi
116. Naveen Qayyum, Staff Writer At The World Council Of Churches, Geneva, Switzerland
117. Naziha Syed Ali, journalist
118. Nazish Brohi, Independent, Researcher
119. Noman Quadri, Student
120. Noorjehan Bilgrami, Artsist, Karachi
121. Nuzhat Kidvai, WAF, Karachi
122. Pervez Hoodbhoy, Physicist
123. Qurratulain Zaman, Media Consultant, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung,
124. Rafia Zakaria, Columnist Dawn
125. Raheem Bari, Student, Ireland
126. Ram Puniyani, All India Secular Forum, Mumbai
127. Ramzan Chandio, The Nation\Staff Reporter , Karachi Pakistan
128. Ravi Hemadri, Peace Activist, New Delhi
129. Raza Rumi, Writer,
130. Rizwan Ahmad, Activist, Blogger, Sydney
131. Rizwan Razvi, COO, Young Moajid (Pvt) Ltd., Karachi
132. Rohini Hensman, writer and activist
133. Rumana Husain, Jaal / NuktaArt, Karachi
134. S. Abbas Raza, Editor,
135. S. M. Naseem, economist
136. Saba Hamid, Actor, Pakistan,
137. Saba Quraishi, activist, United States
138. Sabahat Ashraf (“iFaqeer”), Communcator. Citizen. Fakir., Silicon Valley, California
139. Sadaf Ahmad, Assistant Professor-Anthropology, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS)
140. Sadiqa Salahuddin, educationist, Indus Resource Centre, Pakistan
141. Saleha Haque, Student, University of Salford, UK
142. Salman Naqvi, Citizen,
143. Sana Saleem , Activist, Blogger, Karachi
144. Sarah Suhail, Lawyer,
145. Seema Jaffer, Citizen, Pakistan,
146. Sehba Sarwar, Writer,
147. Shafqaat Haider, ACCA, USA
148. Shahla Haeri, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Boston University
149. Shahnawaz, Student, Karachi
150. Shahzad Ahmad, Country Coordinator, Bytes For All, Pakistan
151. Shama Noman, Educationist,
152. Shandana Mohmand, Political Scientist, UK,
153. Shaukat Khan, Engineer, Canada
154. Shayan Afzal Khan, Citizen and activist, Pakistan
155. Shoaib Mir, Amnesty International “Prisoner Of Conscience-1984”, Lahore
156. Siddharth Nayak, Managing Director , The Jurists ; President : All India Law Students Association, New Delhi
157. Soulat Pasha, director Titan Energy, Karachi
158. Suhailkhan Khan, None Free Lance, Usa
159. Suleman Khan Kakar, Human Rights Activist, Islamabad, Pakistan
160. Sunil K. Vaidya, Oman Bureau Chief Gulf News, Muscat
161. Susan Marie, Susan Marie Public Relations, New York, USA,
162. Syed Hussein El-Edroos, Business Development & Training Manager, Islamabad
163. Syed Nadir El-Edroos, Teacher,, London
164. Tahera Ahmad, Physician, Germany
165. Tahir Saeed, Senior clinical psychologist, Ireland
166. Taimur Rahman, Musician (LAAL) and College Professor
167. Talal Naeem, Student, Netherlands
168. Tapan Bose, Documentary filmmaker and human rights defender
169. Tarek Fatah, Muslim Canadian Congress, Toronto, Canada
170. Tayyab Tariq, Stanford University, California, Usa
171. Tazeen , Project Director, Intermedia,
172. Umair Khan, Student, Usa
173. Umar Farooq, Businessman/Social Activist, Canada
174. Waqas Ali, CRSD, Peshawar
175. Waqas, Student, Karachi
176. Yameema Mitha, educationist, Islamabad/Dublin/Cambridge
177. Yasser Latif Hamdani, Lawyer
178. Yasser Noman, citizen, Pakistan
179. Zain Alavi, Retired Businessman, Karachi
180. Zainab Raza, Development Practitioner, Karachi
181. Zeeba T. Hashmi, Citizen, Lahore
182. Zohra Yusuf, human rights activist
183. Zulfiqar Ali Khan, Higher Education Department GoKPK, Peshawar
184. Zulfiqar Shah, The Institute for Social Movements, Hyderabad, Pakistan.

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