Sunday, November 04, 2007

Emergency in Pakistan, Nov. 2007

There is a lot out there regarding the what and why of the current state of affairs in Pakistan. In general the Pakistani media, intelligentsia and unhappy politicians, has taken a negative stance on the whole scenario.

Here are some highlights from various sources on the question of what and why.

Musharraf tries to stifle outcry over emergency rule
By Simon Cameron-Moore and Zeeshan Haider Sun Nov 4, 6:18 AM ET

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Police detained hundreds of Pakistani opposition figures and lawyers on Sunday as military ruler President Pervez Musharraf tried to stifle the outcry over the imposition of emergency powers. Read more

Times of India
US prepares to live with another Pak coup
4 Nov 2007, 2250 hrs IST,Chidanand Rajghatta,TNN

WASHINGTON: The Bush administration has signaled that it will be business as usual with Pakistan despite the declaration of emergency and a crack down on civil liberties by its military ruler Pervez Musharraf.

The US provides almost $ 2 billion in annual aid to Pakistan, including of lethal weapons systems like F-16s fighter jets and Cobra helicopter gunships, ostensibly for the war on terror. Pakistan is now Washington's third largest overall aid recipient in the world after Israel and Egypt.

Daily News (Pakistani Newspaper)
Musharraf’s second half-baked martial law
By Ansar Abbasi

ISLAMABAD: General Pervez Musharraf has earned the dubious distinction of being the first-ever Army chief in the country’s history to have suspended the Constitution twice and imposed a half-baked martial law against his own government.

Interestingly, on both occasions he took this extra-constitutional step to secure his own office — previously as the Army chief and now his Presidency.

No matter what justification he offers, everyone knows that Saturday’s suspension of the Constitution was aimed at countering the anticipated judgment of the Supreme Court against his re-election as the President of Pakistan. All and sundry, he was sure that the 11-member larger bench headed by Justice Javed Iqbal was all set to nullify his October 6th re-election for the next term. Read on

Dawn Editorial on the 4th of Nov., 2007
Another move towards absolutism

SO we are back to square one. Back to Oct 12, 1999. All the gains over the years have gone down the drain. All this talk about the forward thrust towards democracy, about the impending 'third phase' of the political process and the lip service to the sanctity of judiciary turned out to be one great deception. The people have been cheated. In a nutshell, one-man rule has been reinforced, and there is no light at the end of the tunnel — a tunnel that is dark and winding with an end that is perhaps blocked. The reports about emergency rule were denied umpteenth times by President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz. The denials were bogus. From now on it would simply be a waste of newspaper space and channel time if ever a denial by this government is printed or aired. Read on

Daily Dawn, Cowasjee Corner on 4th Nov., 2007
Law, order and justice
By Ardeshir Cowasjee

DAY after day it is becoming increasingly obvious — to ourselves and to the rest of the world which has any interest in us — that we have recently climbed down from the treetops but have yet to lose our tails.

Power and pelf remain the name of the game — the order of the day. Our ‘leaders’, those who assume power unto themselves utilising whatever means may be necessary, lose little time in deciding that they are the ‘chosen ones’ (some even invoking the name of the Almighty).

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