Police spies on Pakistani communities in the U.S.

August 31, 2011 § Leave a comment

A report released today by the Associated Press shows that the New York Police Department has been spying on Pakistani and Muslim communities in New York City:

The Demographics Unit, a squad of 16 officers fluent in a total of at least five languages, was told to map ethnic communities in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut and identify where people socialize, shop and pray.

Once that analysis was complete, according to documents obtained by the AP, the NYPD would “deploy officers in civilian clothes throughout the ethnic communities.”

The architect of this and other programs was a veteran CIA officer who oversaw the program while working with the NYPD on the CIA payroll. It was an unusual arrangement for the CIA, which is prohibited from spying inside the U.S.

The spying clearly appears to be illegal, not just because it has racially profiled specific communities but also because the spying program has been carried out in conjunction with the CIA. The CIA is prohibited from domestic operations under U.S. law.

You should read the entire story, but here’s just a taste of how disgusting this program seems to be:

After CIA drone attacks in Pakistan for instance, current and former officials said, undercover officers would move through Pakistani neighborhoods to listen for angry rhetoric or anti-American comments.

So now anger is out of bounds? Criticizing the state is out of bounds? Instead of spying to look for such comments, shouldn’t this exercise make the CIA and NYPD wonder whether drone strikes themselves are the problem?

NYC Protest for Geo TV and Lawyers

March 14, 2009 § Leave a comment

[Check out the post on the ban against Geo TV here.]

NY Pakistanis are staging a protest in NY to show solidarity with Geo TV and the Lawyers’ Movement. Please participate and inform your contacts in New York to do so. Details are below:

What: Protest in solidarity with GEO and in support of Lawyers Movement.

Where: 786 Coney Island Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11218

Organized by: Pak American Society

Time: 7 PM EST

Speakers: Qazi Hussain Ahmed, Imran Khan, Ali Ahmed Kurd

This will be followed by a conference called “Jeevay Pakistan” addressing the challenges in Pakistan

Speakers: Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, former President Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Aitzaz Ahmed and PML-N Information Secretary Ahsan Iqbal.

Action for a Progressive Pakistan Vigil

December 11, 2008 § Leave a comment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: progpak@gmail.com / 917.922.9836

Pakistanis Hold Vigil for Mumbai Victims Call Upon India and Pakistan to Work Towards Peace

When: Saturday, December 13th, 4:00 pm
Where: Union Square NORTH (16th Street) – across the street from Barnes and Noble

(New York, December 8, 2008) – Action for a Progressive Pakistan (APP) condemns the violence of Nov 26th which claimed the lives of over 180 people in Mumbai, and expresses solidarity with the people of India. The group calls upon the democratically elected governments of India and Pakistan to work together in bringing the perpetrators of this heinous act to justice.

APP will hold a vigil this Saturday, December 13th at 4pm in Union Square to express sorrow at the loss of innocent life and call for peace and stability in the region. It demands that measured and deliberate steps be taken to ensure the safety and security of all the citizens of India and Pakistan, who remain the true targets of these extreme agendas. The group also calls upon the governments of India and Pakistan to work for a peaceful resolution of the current crisis, and asks that the world community support the two countries in this endeavor.

“The people of Pakistan stand in solidarity with their brothers and sisters in India because we also bear deeply the scars of terrorism,” said Assistant Professor of Sociology Saadia Toor who’s also a founding member of APP. In 2007 alone, 1500 people were killed in terror attacks in Pakistan. This year, forty people were killed and as many as 350 injured including school children when bombs destroyed a federal government building in the heart of Lahore on March 11th. Another fifty were killed by a terror attack on the Islamabad Marriott hotel in September. These acts of violence, whether in India or Pakistan, are a backlash to the global War on Terror by non-state forces seeking to destabilize the region and derail long-overdue peace initiatives being pursued by the two countries. The only defense against terrorism is a prosperous democracy.

Pakistan has just elected its first civilian government in over a decade after a protracted struggle against the military dictatorship of Pervez Musharraf. The civilian government has already taken several key steps towards de-militarizing the domestic political sphere, and has made overtures towards trying to solve the issue of Kashmir. The civilian regime has managed to impose some limitations on the military but it must do more. To ensure peace and security in the region, the world community must support Pakistan’s democratic institutions. This support must include development assistance geared towards addressing the needs of Pakistan’s poor. APP calls for an immediate end to US airstrikes inside Pakistan’s borders, as they are contributing greatly to the destabilization of the region and causing hardships for innocent civilians.

Action for a Progressive Pakistan stands with the people of South Asia in their struggle for peace in the region. The group, comprised of concerned Pakistani professionals and academics, is committed to ensuring peace, democracy and development in South Asia.

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