ISLAMABAD, Nov 6: Faced with the threats of arrests and manhandling by police, the civil societies based in the federal capital have now resorted to ‘flash demonstrations’ against the imposition of emergency, whenever and wherever possible, without informing anyone including the media.
A number of civil society organisations held such ‘flash demonstrations’ in various parts of the city on Tuesday.
Their activists were quick to leave the place before the arrival of the police, but not without spreading their message of appealing to the countrymen to come out and play their role for restoration of the constitution.
And after a long interval, it seems that the student community has noticed the absence of their once leading role in the political scene. Some 500 students of Quaid-i-Azam University and a number of faculty members held a peaceful on-the-campus rally against Gen Pervez Musharraf for imposing emergency in the country.
While marching across the campus, they chanted slogans against the imposition of emergency and called for restoration of constitution and immediate release of all political prisoners. Many of the students were wearing black arm-bands as a sign of mourning over the withdrawal of all basic constitutional rights of the citizens.
The police were quick to arrive at the scene but the students dispersed minutes before the police entered the campus. Sources said some of the police high-ups also met the administration of the university and warned them that protesters would be arrested. The police have also sought from the administration the names of the students who had organised the rally.
There were also rumours that police had made some arrests from the campus. However, they turned out to be untrue in the evening.
But the students and faculty members also decided to keep on holding similar peaceful rallies on the campus every day as long as the emergency persisted.
Meanwhile, a number of civil society organisations including Pattan Development Organisation, Sungi, SPO, SDPI,
Bedari and many others gathered in Super Market and protested against the imposition of emergency and removal of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.
They raised slogans against General Musharraf’s rule and demanded immediate restoration of democracy in the country and holding of free and fair elections.
The participants were wearing black bands around their arms and heads. They condemned large-scale arrests of lawyers and activists of political parties and civil society workers.
They condemned police action against peaceful demonstrators in Lahore, Karachi and many other cities.
The demonstrators also distributed black bands among common people to motivate the public against the military rule. The demonstrators vowed to continue struggle without any fear for restoration of democracy and supremacy of the constitution.
It may be noted that many activists belonging to civil society organisations have been arrested since the imposition of emergency in the country.
The protesters also distributed pamphlets to passerbys asking them to speak out.
Meanwhile, several members of the Jamhoori Forum held a protest demonstration in Karachi Company and demanded an immediate end to the emergency, release of all detained political workers and the announcement of an election schedule.
The demonstrators were holding banners and placards, waving black flags and chanting slogans against military dictatorship.
They also distributed pamphlets amongst passersby and shopkeepers asking them to play their role in restoration of the constitution and democracy.
Peace Activist Dr A. H. Nayyar and Farzana Bari of Pattan Development Organisation were also present.
Speaking on the occasion, activist Aasim Sajjad said over the past 48 hours the principled defenders of democracy had bravely resisted a wave of state repression.
He said it was high time that all political forces that claimed to be committed to restoration of democracy made their presence felt, while the international community reversed its hypocritical policy of abetting dictatorship.
Jamil Abbasi said all the claims of the government about enlightened moderation had been totally exposed. He said time had come to permanently end the role of military in the state affairs.