People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 46

November 18, 2007

Release Salima Hashmi, Others

Intellectuals Demand End To Army Rule


A number of prominent artistes, writers and intellectuals issued the following press statement on November 5, 2007, expressing serious concern over the current situation in Pakistan.


IT is a matter of grave concern that an artiste of the stature of Salima Hashmi has been arrested in the crackdown by General Musharraf to reimpose army rule in Pakistan, using the excuse of terrorism which was fomented primarily by the ISI and army and consistently used by them. By no stretch of imagination can the name of Hashmi, a daughter of the noted poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz and the wife of Shoaib Hashmi, both imprisoned by Pakistani regimes for their leftist convictions, can be said to be linked with either terrorist or fundamentalist forces.


We demand the restoration of democracy and the release of Salima Hashmi, the human rights activist Asma Jehangir and a large number of democratic minded people arrested under the crackdown be released immediately as we feel that draconian steps like these only serve the interests of terrorism and do not reduce that threat.


Signatories to the statement included M K Raina (actor), Vishnu Nagar (poet), Dr Rajendra Prasad (journalist), Asad Zaidi (poet), Arpana Caur (artiste), Nalini Taneja (historian), Vivan Sundaram (artiste), Mangalesh Dabral (poet), Romi Khosla (architect), Dolly Narang (art gallery owner), Kalpana Khosla (writer), Siddharth Tagore (art gallery owner), Atul Sinha (sculptor), Ram Rehman (photographer), Asghar Wajahat (writer) and Suneet Chopra (art critic and writer).