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A Plea To Conscientious Citizens And Students of Lahore

Protest for Peace

It is time to offload both the US and the Taliban

by sacw.net, 4 November 2008

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Thousands of civilians killed and many more displaced in the name of a "War on Terror"

Stop the terror against innocent Pakistani civilians and call for an END TO THE VIOLENCE.

It is time to offload both the US and the Taliban!

PROTEST FOR PEACE

Date: 5th November, 2008

Venue: Press Club, Davis Road, Lahore

Time: 5:00 pm

For more Information: 0300 4182771

Dear All,

We invite you to a demonstration against the continuing war in the Pukhtunkhwa and FATA/FANA.

It has been seven years since the War on Terror started and it has brought nothing but death, destruction and a further erosion of our sovereignty. On the other hand, we are certainly not sympathetic to the Taliban ideology and neither do we believe that the resort to violence is the best way to deal with injustice and aggression.

We do however believe that the Pakistani establishment, governed by the Pakistan Army in matters of defence and foreign policy, has actively interfered in Afghan affairs - first in pursuit of the "strategic depth" doctrine (1) and then under the "Pakistan first!" slogan. We are now reaping the bitter harvest of both policies:

our own Army and Air Force are shelling and bombing people who are often unarmed Pakistani civilians, and, the militant self-righteous amongst us are forming groups that launch terrorist attacks on non-combatants - possibly as a practical demonstration of what "collateral damage" feels like
"Ignorant armies clash by night..."

We, the bystanders, have to band together, have to realise that the way out of this mess (that we did nothing to stop - neither in 1995 (2) nor in 2001 (3) - even though both policies were implemented in our name) is to demand an end both to US and Pakistan Army attacks against the people of the tribal areas as well as to attacks by these people - on each other and in the so-called "Settled Areas".

Because in the end, the biggest losers are we ourselves - collectively and individually. We no longer have any personal security, livelihoods have been affected and most critically, it is our brothers and sisters who are dying virtually every day - caught in the cross-fire of this "strange, deadly war" that all the vested interests seem to want to continue.

It is time to offload both the US and the Taliban, to declare once and for all, "A plague on both your houses!"

The solution has got to be peace - and only a just peace will guarantee long-term stability.

The first protest of this campaign is scheduled for 5 PM on the 5th of November, 2008. The venue is the Press Club, Davis Road.

Regards

The Students of Lahore
- Participating universities: Punjab University, FC College, LUMS, FAST-NU, -LSE
- Participating student fora: SAC, ISF, FASTRising