“Not in Our Name”
Punjabi Activists Condemn Military Action in Balochistan

Washington, 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 the provinces.
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 1973 Constitution.
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 governance.”
For more information contact Dr. Asharf Toor: (815) 353 – 5039.
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 Siddiq.

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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