Socialist Worker

Pakistan crisis: eyewitness report from Karachi

by Riaz Ahmed
Issue No. 2076

Protesters outside the Pakistani high commission in London demonstrated against Musharraf on Monday

Protesters outside the Pakistani high commission in London demonstrated against Musharraf on Monday

Within 24 hours of it being declared, over 200 people defied the state of emergency to gather on the steps of the Karachi press club.

This was one of the biggest meetings on Sunday in opposition to the state of emergency.

It was called by the People’s Movement for Justice, a coalition of left wing activists, trade unionists, NGO campaigners, professionals, lawyers, journalists and intellectuals.

They condemned the martial law imposed by president Pervez Musharraf and the arrests of hundreds of political activists and civil rights campaigners in Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi.

The mood of the meeting was highly charged. People raised thunderous slogans against the military, against imperialism and against the attacks on the judiciary and the media.

The protesters demanded the release of all those who have been arrested. They resolved to work towards the removal of the military dictator. Another demonstration was announced for the next day.

People were very impressed to see so many come to the Karachi meeting despite the fear of repression.

The police continued their repression on Monday, arresting hundreds more lawyers and other human rights activists. They surrounded the Karachi Press club where again 200 people had gathered to protest.

They brutally attacked anyone who tried to leave the club. Two trade unionists and three television camera operators were arrested.

Police laid siege to the protesters for six hours. Many young people trapped in the press club expressed their anger and their determination to hold another demonstration.

The demonstrations will continue. We have to resist or the martial law will become more bloody and more brutal.

For more information on Pakistan in Urdu go to »

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