On November 3, 2007, General Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency. The major actions taken by the army during the period of suspension of the constitution included the removal of the Chief Justice Iftikhar Choudhry, 1 the arrest of civil rights’ activists and lawyers, and the censorship of both English and Urdu media. Despite rallies and protests, the resistance to the state of emergency was relatively bloodless. Furthermore, the protest movement and the way it was organized, by relying on specific local and global social networks, shows some peculiarities that are likely to strongly inform further civic developments in the years to come. In the context of such specificities, this chapter aims at analyzing how an elite private university in Lahore (LUMS) became one of the pivots of the protest due to its unique social and cultural capital and some historical circumstances, such as the recently renovated political and strategic allegiances of Pakistan in world politics. In particular, it is argued that although a clear connection between the end of the state of the emergency and the elite student movement2 cannot be made, the means and self-reflection through which the protest grew, developed, and extinguished may create a precedent and have long-term repercussions on the public sphere in Pakistan.
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- Rang de Basanti in Pakistan? Elite Student Activism, the Emergence of a Virtual Globalized Public Sphere, and the 2007 Emergency
- Palgrave Macmillan US
- Chapter 2