General Musharaf took power in a coup d’état on October 12, 1999, had declared emergency rule and imposed strict security measures on November 3rd 2007, 2 months before a scheduled election in Pakistan.
The line that was carried by the Pakistani government was the growing threat of terror. Yet the days following those most targeted were the judges, the lawyers, human rights activists, and the political opposition. Yet many western states did not express vocal concern, as Pakistan has become one of the largest recipients of Western military aid, approximately more than 16 billion dollars in the past 6 years. In order to fight the war on terror and ally itself with US interests in the region and in particular the occupation of Afghanistan.
Yet Pakistan’s poor and peasants, who make up 70% of the population, have seen entrenched privatization and no economic relief as most of that foreign aid has gone into the military, which Musharaf was the chief commander of Pakistan’s military until two weeks ago.
This interview with Azra Sayeed, a grassroots activist who has fought for years for the economic rights of landless peasants, and women’s rights in Pakistan, we discuss the root causes behind the imposing of emergency rule. Also in the interview Azra discusses the economic and political support of the US, which has led to growing discontent in Pakistan and the need to support political prisoners in Pakistan. Azra is a spokesperson for Roots for Equity, a peasant based organization that struggles for food sovereignty, and against corporate globalization.
This report was produced by Mostafa Henaway for CKUT 90.3FM for the Tuesday Morning After.
Articles written by Azra Sayeed
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