Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Emergency!

I have been away from blogging since September 19th or so, except of very short and situational pieces. I was back in Pakistan for family reasons this last week. When I left Pakistan Friday evening local time, Emergency was just a rumour. I had just attended an event the evening before with some journalists, bloggers, activits, and other members of Civil Society titled "Take Back Karachi". (Details at: http://www.t2f.biz/karachi/ -- they've added a graphic about the emergency.)

When I got off the plane at JFK, I saw a typically short report on CNN that Emergency had been imposed and immediately started Facebooking with a couple of journalists on the ground in Pakistan. Since then, it seems like Pakistanis are starting to step up to their moment of truth.

But first here's a flashback for those who missed it; it's a former head of Pakistan's much-mentioned ISI saying, the day before "Da Proclamation", that if Martial Law is proclaimed--and he points out that a constitutionally-mandated "Emergency" is not an option--civil society should step up and push back:



I attended just such a meeting of civil society via Skype Saturday night (Pacific Time)/Saturday afternoon (Pakistan Time) and by morning, had been pulled in to talk about the Emergency on WNYC, New York Public Radio:



And, well, what else can I say.? Here's a comment from Dr. Adil Najam, dipped in revolutionary verse:

http://pakistaniat.com/2007/11/06/pakistan-emergency-musharraf-faiz/

As Adil says, people see a picture and all they feel is shame for the 5 policemen beating up a lawyer; I feel nothing but pride, for I see one Pakistani putting his self on the line for his principle. People see a media blackout; I see journalists that a dictator has no choice but to ban.

As with the earthquake in 2005, we have started information collection at:

http://pakistan.wikia.com/wiki/Emergency_2007

this includes trying to monitor and check up on the status of detainees:

http://pakistan.wikia.com/wiki/Emergency_2007_Detainees

and a bulletin board of sorts for events:

http://pakistan.wikia.com/wiki/Emergency_2007_Events

(By way of background, WikiPakistan is an Information Database about Pakistan, Pakistanis and the diaspora hosted by Wikia, a community destination supporting the creation and development of wiki communities and run by a lot of the same people who run the Wikipedia. The site is at http://pakistan.wikia.com/ and background information can be seen at http://pakistan.wikia.com/wiki/Pakistan:About . It is an open database that anyone can edit and is developed under a Free Document License. [Contributors should be aware that if they choose to post material there directly, they are agreeing to release it under the GNU Free Documentation License. Please see www.wikia.com and WikiPakistan for further details.] Contributors are encouraged to click on the “Create an account or log in” link in the top righthand corner of every page and create an account. You do not need to provide any personal information.)

You can read more, and find links to more, on the pages referred to above. More later.

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