“Not in Our Name”
Punjabi Activists Condemn Military
Action in Balochistan
DC: A number of Pakistani activists of Punjubi origin have
issued a joint statement condemning Gen Musharraf’s
government for the military action which has resulted in the
death of octogenarian politician Akbar Bugti and several of
his colleagues, thus causing further alienation among peoples
and provinces of Pakistan.
“This statement is a testimony that the people of Punjab,
with the exception of a few feudal families, stand with the
people of Balochistan and not with the Musharraf regime,”
statement coordinator Dr. Ashraf Toor said.
Expressing solidarity with the people of Balochistan, these
activists have offered a four-point formula to resolve the
present crisis: 1) Suo moto inquiry by the Supreme Court of
Pakistan about the military action, 2) an emergency meeting
of the Council of Common Interests, 3) an election-based referendum
about civilian supremacy, provincial autonomy and social justice,
and 4) a national debate about ways to resolve the ongoing
crisis of the Pakistani state.
The joint statement reads: “We the undersigned Pakistanis
and Pakistani-Americans of Punjabi origin resolutely condemn
the recent military action which has resulted in the deaths
of Nawab Akbar Bugti and several of his colleagues.
“This callous act is a logical outcome of a dictatorial
rule and not of any interethnic strife. It is a manifestation
of the ongoing state-versus-civil society conflict in Pakistan.
“For far too long, the federal rulers have manipulated
and mobilized Punjabi public opinion to oppress, exploit and
even militarily attack people in other provinces. But the
times have changed. We have learnt from our past mistakes.
We have learnt from the tragedy of East Pakistan.
“Today, we affirmatively respond to the call of our
great poet Habib Jalib, who had written: Jaag mai-ray Punjab
Keh Pakistan Chala (Wake up my Punjab, or Pakistan shall be
no more). Punjab is wide awake and it does not support the
military regime’s attempt to muzzle any section of the
Pakistani society. Today, the people of Punjab, with the exception
of a few feudal families, stand with the people of Balochistan
and not with the Musharraf regime.
Recognizing the potential volatility of the present situation,
we offer a four-point formula to resolve this crisis and rebuild
amity among all peoples of Pakistan.
1. “We urge the Supreme Court of Pakistan to conduct
a suo moto inquiry of these killings.
2. “In keeping with that the recent ruling of the Supreme
Court of Pakistan that the Council of Common Interest (CCI),
as mandated by Articles 153 and 154 of the Constitution, “is
a cornerstone of the federal structure providing protection
of the rights of the federating units”, we call for
an immediate meeting of the Council of Common Interest to
devise a new - just and fair - framework for redistribution
of powers among the federal and provincial governments and
for a more equitable distribution of national resources among
3.“We call on Pakistani political parties to turn the
2007 election into a national referendum about civilian supremacy,
provincial autonomy and social justice as enshrined in the
4. “We urge the Pakistani media to organize a national
debate about the interlocked problems of militarism, feudalism,
and tribalism and help find solutions to these problems in
the context of constitutional democracy, rule of law, due
process, equal justice, accountability, transparency and good
For more information contact Dr. Asharf Toor: (815) 353 –
Signed by: Prof. Fawzia Afzal Khan, Prof. Anwar Syed, Prof.
S. M. Ghazanfar, Prof. Mohammad Akram, Prof. Agha Saeed, Dr.
Ashraf Toor, Dr. Manzur Ejaz, Dr. Bashir Syed, Munir Chaudhry,
Sajjad Burki, Saleem Akhtar, Raja M. Yaqub, Tashi Zaheer,
Noshi Gilani, Syed Adeeb, Shafqat Chaudhry, Syed Bashart Ali,
Saad Shiekh, Tariq Virk, Dr. Riaz Ahmed, Ashraf Qazi, Naseem
Sarwar, Raheela Yaqub, Mohammed Siddique and Shiekh Yunus