Citizens for Democracy (CFD) was formed on Dec 19, 2010, as a coalition of professional groups, NGOs, trade unions, student unions, political parties and individuals outraged by the consistent misuse and abuse of the ‘blasphemy laws’ and religion in politics. We came together at a meeting at Karachi Press Club, convened by citizens of Karachi.
CFD calls upon all professional groups, NGOs, trade unions, student unions, political parties and individuals to join hands to work against the misuse and abuse of the ‘blasphemy laws’ and religion in politics. CFD chapters have subsequently been formed in Lahore and Islamabad. Please see CFD stand and endorsing organisations at this blog. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com Twitter: @cfdpk
Statement of principles and calls to action
CFD opposes all laws and customs that discriminate on the basis of race, religion, language, ethnicity, gender caste, class or economic status.
CFD calls for and supports measures that protect innocent people from false accusations of ‘blasphemy’ due to personal dispute, political or economic rivalry, and professional jealousy.
We respect the right to free speech and encourage discourse and debate. We uphold adherence to rule of law and advocate strict action against those who take the law into their own hands.
We will work against the turn towards extremism in our society that is threatening the security of every individual and destroying democratic state institutions.
We envisage a Pakistan where social justice prevails, where equal economic opportunities are provided to all, and where security for the lives and properties of Pakistani citizens is ensured – a Pakistan built on the basis of harmony among all national, ethnic, religious, and other communities.
Calls to Action
1. All cases of murder must be dealt with as murder and not justified on ‘religious’ or ‘cultural’ pretexts
2. Zero tolerance for any incitement to violence or murder; all such cases must be dealt with under the law
3. Monitor and initiate complaints against hate speech at mosques or other places of worship
4. Monitor and initiate complaints against hate mongering in the media
CFD supporting organisations include Professional Organisations Mazdoor Federations & Hari Joint Committee – POJAC, an umbrella organisation including: 1. Sindh High Court Bar Association; 2. Pakistan Medical Association (PMA); 3. All Pakistan Newspaper Employees Confederation (APNEC); 4. Mutahida Labour Federation; 5. Karachi Union of Journalists; 6. Pakistan Workers Federation; 7. All Pakistan Trade Union Federation (APTUF); 8. All Pakistan Clerk Association; 9. Democratic Labour Union State Bank of Pakistan; 10. UBL Workmen Union (CBA); 11. National Bank Trade Union Federation; 12. Karachi Bar Association; 13. Pakistan Nursing Federation; 14. National Trade Union Federation; 15. Sindh Hari Committee; 16. Govt. Sec. Teachers Association; 17. Pakistan Hotel And Restaurant Workers Federation; 18. Mehran Mazdoor Federation; 19. All Sindh Primary Teachers Association; 20. Sindh Professor Lecturer Association; 21. Malir Bar Association, Karachi; 22. Pakistan Trade Union Federation (PTUF); 23. Railway Workers Union Open Line (cba) Workshop; 24. Mehran Railway Employees Welfare Association; 25. All Pakistan Trade Unions Organisations; CFD members and those endorsing the above statement also include: 26. Awami Party; 27. Labour Party Pakistan (LPP); 28. Progressive Youth Front (PYF); 29. Communist Party Pakistan (CPP); 30. Peace and Solidarity Council; 31. Pakistan Institute of Labour, Education & Research (Piler); 32. Action Committee for Human Rights; 33. Dalit Front; 34. National NCommission for Justice and Peace (CJP); 35. Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP); 36. Caritas; 37. Aurat Foundation; 38. Women’s Action Forum (WAF); 39. People’s Resistance; 40. Sindh Awami Sangat; 41. National Organisation of Working Committees; 42. Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF); 43. Child and Labour Rights Welfare Organisation; 44. Progressive Writers Association (PWA); 45. Port Workers Federation; 46. Shirkat Gah; 47. Pakistan Peace Coalition (PPC); 48. Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA); 49. Sanjan Nagar Public Education Trust (SNPET); 50. Pakistan Dalit Solidarity Network (PDSN); 51. Sindh Democratic Forum (SDF); 52. SAP-Pakistan; 53. AwazCDS-Pakistan; 54. GCAP-Pakistan; 55. Home Based Women Workers Federation (HBWWF); 56. Labour Education Foundation (LEF); 57. Progressive Youth Forum; 58. National Students’ Federation (NSF); 59. The Researchers; 60. Tehrik-e-Niswan; 61. Democratic Commission for Human Development (DCHD); 62. Crises Support Group of Residents for Defence and Clifton, Karachi; 63. Baaghi: A blog for secular Pakistan; 64. Communist Mazdoor Kissan Party (CMKP); 65. Ansar Burney Trust International; 66. Viewpoint International; 67. Pakistan Youth Alliance; 68. Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI); 69. Youth Together for Human Rights Education (YTHRE); 70. The Institute for Social Movements (ISM); 71 South Asia Partnership Pakistan (SAP-Pk); 72. Institute for Development Initiatives; 73. Shehri-CBE; 74. Institute for Peace and Secular studies; 75. Youth Parliament of Pakistan; 76. Pattan; 77. Awami Jamhoori Forum; 78. Community Development Initiative (CDI); 79. Khudi, Lahore & Islamabad; 80. Insani Haqooq Itehad (IHI); 81. Irtiqa Institute of Social Sciences and National Council of Academics; 82. PeaceNiche, Karachi
CFD founder members (original working committee): Saleem Akhter (CPP), Beena Sarwar (journalist), Nasir Mansoor (LPP), Naeem Sadiq (concerned citizen), Nasir Arain (concerned citizen), Nuzhat Kidvai (WAF), Noman Peter (NCJP), William Sadiq (Action Committee for Human Rights), Noman Quadri (student), Zeenia Shaukat, Zulfiqar Shah (Piler), Dr Habib Soomro, Dr Samrina Hashmi (PMA).