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Farooq Tariq released on bail

by Farooq Tariq
This is to inform you that I was released this evening on 29th September 2007 after
an anti terrorist court judge accepted my bail application. The court has granted bail for Rupees 30,000 ($500) each to all 12 LPP activists but due to lack of time, I was the only one to be released in time after all the papers completed. All others will be hopefully released on Monday.

The judge who accepted my bail application at the anti terrorist court of Lahore was one the few judges who had resigned in protest against suspending the chief justice of Supreme Court of Pakistan during this year. He was recently reinstated. When my bail application was moved by Asma Jahanghir advocate, chairperson of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan alongside with several other senior advocates, he immediately agreed to the bail. Earlier another judge had rejected my application.

The decision was immediately condemned by all the advocates present. They said how the police can frame 12 LPP activists who are mainly brick kiln workers with anti terrorist charges. No media report of the so-called encounter with police where a police man was injured.

LPP activists raised anti Musharaf and anti court decision slogans inside the premises of the court. This was a real act of bravery by LPP activists. No one else has done that earlier. When the LPP activists heard by some friendly police men that orders has been given to arrest all those who are raising slogans, the LPP activists escaped before the police come to arrest them.

I was accused of a physical attack on police alongside with 30 LPP members. During the "attack" on police, one police man was unconscious and we had torn his uniform. These were the charges faced by myself and 11 other LPP activists. This was a justification to charge us under Anti Terrorist Act (ATA), these are charges brought against most of the religious fundamentalists. This was first time that I was charged with anti terrorist act. This was a total lie.

What has happened is on the contrary. As I left the demonstration of advocates on the main Mall Road of Lahore on 27th September, I was followed by several police men in plain cloths on motorbikes who intercepted me at a traffic signal. I put up resistance for five minutes but more police force arrived and I was brought to a nearby police station. Two private tv channel journalist followed the police but they were manhandled by police.

When I was the first police report on that evening at the police station, I asked the police officer who was leading my arrest why you have total false charges against me. I asked him to bring the police officer who was physically attacked by me and was unconscious, he told me with a cynic smile "This is Pakistan, what else can you expect over here". He told me sorry, this is not me but the high ups who want a strict action against you and your comrades.

Off course, he was acting on behalf of a military government who was watching the growing influence of LPP among the advocates movement and was not ready to sit quit. Over 200 activists of LPP were the main contingent of the political activists alongside with advocates' demonstration on 27th September. Most of them had red flags.

But the joy of release was not there while dozens of LPP activists were outside the jail gates. LPP chairperson Nisar Shah Advocate was arrested in Islamabad alongside with several advocates and activists of Peoples Rights Movement. Dozens of advocates were brutally handled by police and they were serious injuries of many in Islamabad.

Another very close supporter of LPP in Karchi, Salahudin Gandapur advocate, member Sind Bar Association was arrested as well during a demonstration in Karachi. 11 social and trade union activists were also arrested in Karachi during a demonstration. LPP Sind has planned several demonstrations tomorrow in several cities of Sind including Karachi. Salahudin Gandapur is one of the main leaders of the advocate movement in Pakistan and he contested elections for national parliament in 2002 as an LPP candidate.

Police has also attacked the journalist in Islamabad and in Peshawar. Several have been injured. The military dictatorship of General Musharaf has been weakened by the second round of advocate's movement and it is now trying to stop it by repression. I along 11 other LPP activists were the first victims of this repression on 27th September, but that go on till tonight and many more arrested and injured during and after the anti Musharaf demonstrations.

The struggle to overthrow this military government will continue through a mass movement of the working class alongside with advocates and other radical strata of society.

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