joint meeting of civil society organizations, including NGOs,
media, teachers associations, women groups, human rights
organizations, peace activists, trade-union representatives,
intellectuals and political workers was held at SAP-Pakistan
office Lahore on September 20, 2001. The meeting comprehensively
analyzed the situation facing Pakistan as a consequence of the
recent terrorist attacks in New York and Washington and situation
of possible military action from US and its allied forces. The
assembly also took a comprehensive stock of the causes and effects
of the growing terrorism in world in general and in Middle-east
and South Asia in particular.The meeting also issued a joint
statement, highlighting the concerns and demands of civil society
in avoiding the possible attacks on innocent civilians. Enclosed
is the text of the joint statement issued by the meeting.
We, the assembly of NGOs, civil society organizations and peace
groups, express our profound shock and horror on the terrorist
attacks in New York and Washington and the killings of innocent
people of various nationalities. It was a senseless act of terror
that demonstrates the magnitude of devastation implied in the
politics of hatred. As Pakistani's who have experienced terrorism
in the past and continue to be confronted by the same forces, are
fully sensitive to the sufferings that this global menace brings.
We, therefore, unconditionally condemn terrorism in any form and
We acknowledge the note of dissent registered by the international
community including US allies on the kind of overwhelming force
that the US appears getting ready to use. It is also time for the
US and global community to reflect on unjust policies especially
in the Middle-East which engender resentment and prevents a
stronger support against this menace of terrorism from emerging.
We are gravely concerned about America's preparations for the
indiscriminate bombing that would place at risk innocent civilian
population in the region. They have nothing to do with the
policies of the Taleban or crimes that Osama Bin Laden may or may
not have committed.
We stand alongside the international community in our humanitarian
concerns for the fate of those large number of hapless Afghan men,
women and children, and urge that a structure that addresses their
needs is put together with the joint efforts of the international
community, the civil society and the government of Pakistan. While
we share the deepest concerns about the well being of the Afghan
People, we strongly oppose those elements who place Pakistan's
security below other objectives such as saving Taleban government
While recognizing that this is a very delicate situation that
imposes many constraints on Pakistan we urge the government not to
allow US or allied ground troops on the soil of Pakistan.
This is a critical juncture for the Pakistan's establishment to
review its policies and priorities which have contributed in no
small measures to the deadly fallout that we are witnessing today.
We strongly urge the government of Pakistan to ensure the safety
and security of the citizens of Pakistan, especially the
minorities and other vulnerable groups
We the civil society stand for peace and justice and strongly
believe that use of force and military tactics neither strengthen
human rights nor preserve democracy.