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03 November, 2007

The imposition of emergency announced by President General Pervez Musharraf in his capacity as Army Chief has put to rest the rumors circling around the country for the past few weeks.

President Gen Pervez Musharraf in his capacity as Army Chief under article 232 of the constitution announced the imposition of emergency. All civil rights from article 232 till 237 have been suspended.

Prime Minister and Cabinet members would continue to perform their duties while Senate, National Assembly, and provincial assemblies would remain intact.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry has been removed from his post as army troops take control of the Supreme Court.

All communication contacts have been cut off mobile and Internet services have been suspended and private TV channels transmission closed down.

The army has taken control of the federal capital and a large number of troops and rangers have been deployed at public places, embassies and other key government installations. More than 1000 troops of frontier constabulary have been summoned to maintain security.

1)Is this act justified at such a crucial time?
2)Will emergency help curbing Extremism and fundamentalism?
3)Is this the end of a free Judiciary?

Reader Comments:

Hail Gen. Pervez Musharraf

I would like to thank God Almighty for having granted the strength of purpose to Gen. Pervez Musharraf, to have saved Pakistan once again. Lest people have forgotton what Bibi and Nawaz did to Pakistan I qoute below a very appropriate e-mail:

"My name is Muhtarma Benazir Bhutto. I left your
country eight nine years ago. The U.S. has again
sent me back to rule over you. In my last regime I
could not do more, just only some billion US dollars
is into my foreign account, and have fixed that for my
poor children. At that time National Wealth was not
enough as now-a-days, 16 billon US dollars. I can't
wait any more. I have promised Mr. Bush to catch
the Osama, and finish the all Muslims, roll back the
Pakistan's Nuclear program. O my Innocent, Poor,
and Fool country man, Please vote for me, and allow
me to make another Diamonds Necklace, because I
love it. And I order you to elect Nawaz after me
because he is also a poor man with the just some
billion US Dollars in the same country, where I keep.
Thank You " Yours Sister, Benazir."

Mohammed Ibrahim, Canada - 10 November, 2007

Musharraf will blunder, if now searches mainly civilian constituency

This refers to press conference of Musharraf on November, 11 which was widely telecast live in India also. Though Musharraf sounded quite convincing as for defending his various actions regarding imposition of emergency, disciplining judiciary, fighting terrorism & fundamentalism etc but he is evidently preparing himself to commit blunders as for his political / constitutional moves are concerned. Musharraf ought to keep the following in mind while deciding his future course of such actions:-

(1)- Musharraf will dig his own grave if he FORMALLY gives up his main martial constituency and try to depend mainly on civilian constituency in order to become a so called Civilian President.

(2)- Even USA & its democratic allies have come out against merely (i)- Musharraf's continuation as army chief and donning of uniform (ii)- martial law (emergency).

(3)- For becoming a martial president Musharraf need not be army chief donning the uniform or be any other officer of the armed forces. Because mankind has known and still knows many heads of the states (monarchs, military rulers etc.) without having served formally for a single day in armed forces of their countries. Martial President (even in civilian attire) only requires the main & explicit support (whether institutionalised or not) of the armed forces of his country.

(4)- Therefore Musharraf can give up the post of Army Chief and uniform but may remain martial President supported mainly by the armed forces of Pakistan.

(5)- As for lifting the emergency is concerned Musharraf is absolutely right when he says that given present circumstances of Pakistan, emergency is good not only for the restoration of normalcy (law & order) but also for the promotion of democracy in Pakistan. The only thing Musharraf ought to do is the following in order to reasonably address the concerns of USA & its allies in particular and of international community in general regarding free & fair functioning and conduct of democracy & coming January general elections in Pakistan:-

(i)- Musharraf ought to allow all the registered political parties (of Benazir, Nawaz, Imran etc ) not only to take part in free and fair elections but also to campaign and take part in political activities freely and fairly with following conditions.

(ii)- All political parties will take prior permission from local administration before organising political & election meetings, rallies, demonstrations etc..

(iii)- In case any political party organises such programs without getting such prior administrative permission then its office bearers should be punished as per law and even that political party's registration should be cancelled if it persists in such effrontery.

Hem Raj Jain, Hungary - 12 November, 2007


The promulgation of the amendments to the Army Act, are alarming. These amendments give wide powers to military courts. Civilians can be tried for a number of offences including for expressing views that citizens of Pakistan comprise of more than one nationality by military courts. Antiquated laws that had lost their teeth through judicial reviews are now being resurrected and made punishable to be tried by the military. Trials will not be open to public hearings; lawyers will only be allowed to represent the accused in the capacity of a friend. Investigation will be carried out by military personal and ordinary rules of evidence will not apply.

In the past offences under the Prevention of Anti-National Activities Act were tried by a specially constituted tribunal headed by a Judge of the High Court. The presiding judge was appointed with the consultation of the Chief Justice of that court. The Anti-National Activities Act as well as several other offences now to be tried by military courts has remained controversial. Lawyers and leaders of civil society vehemently denounced them for being oppressive. The government had powers to detain any person under the Security of Pakistan Act, 1952 but a Review Board consisting of judges of the Supreme and High Courts examined the grounds of such detentions. The amendments made under the Army Act are blatantly violating all norms of human rights and the Constitution of Pakistan. In order, to settle scores with lawyers, human rights activists and defiant journalists the law is given effect from January 2003. This also allows the government to legitimize the illegal acts of disappearances carried out by the intelligence agencies with impunity. It may be recalled that the Supreme Court of Pakistan was hearing a number of petitions concerning several individuals who had been picked up by state agents, tortured and kept in clandestine detention centres. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan had also filed a fundamental rights petition on behalf of 198 persons. On the intervention of the Supreme Court 99 were released. General Musharaf in a public statement defended the government. He assured the people that none of those who had gone missing were picked up by the government but had voluntarily gone for jihad. This was yet another cruel distortion by the General. Perhaps, a handful of those who disappeared may have gone jihading but not one person on the Commission’s list was even accused of AlQuida style terrorism. A large majority were young secular minded Baloch nationalists. The statements of a number of them, who reappeared, including a few journalists, only exposed the horror of the excesses of the security forces.

The Attorney General justified these amendments on the grounds that these were essential for combating terrorism and that similar laws also exist in the United Kingdom and the USA . First, two wrongs will never make right. Secondly, the UK and the USA have an independent judiciary that has also struck down provisions of the Patriot Act. The military courts in the UK or the USA do not try their own citizens. Moreover, journalists, lawyers and activists in the UK or the US have not been charged for terrorism or treason. In Pakistan , police has filed reports accusing several lawyers and activists of terrorism. There are at least three FIRs against me under the Terrorist Act. Judges of superior courts are not under house arrest in either the UK or the US .

Granting military courts jurisdiction to try offences from murder to libel is an expression of the government’s own lack of confidence in its selected PCO judges. The onslaught on the courts was not because they were obstructing trial of terrorists but because they dared to give relief in some cases. A dictator seeks absolute obedience and fears his own shadow too. As such no amount of appeasement or repression will out their minds at rest. There is little doubt that the Musharaf regime is no mood to change course. They want absolute power. They will tolerate no dissent and will continue to use the terrorist card to keep the international community at bay. How long will the bluff and a state of self-denial work?

Asma Jahangir is in detention in her house

Asma Jahangir, Pakistan - 12 November, 2007


Mr. Hamid Khan and Mirza Aziz Akbar Beg the Vice Chairperson of the Pakistan Bar Council have warned that the government is vigorously following a policy of deceit. The Musharaf regime has no intentions to restore democracy or respect the rule of law. On the contrary, on behest of the government petitions are being engineered to get the PCO and the emergency validated by the PCO Supreme Court. The leaders of the bar have credible information that Mr Iqbal Tikka, who has been notoriously hosting General Musharaf at his resident, has filed one such decoy petition. The Bar Associations have no doubt that it is being filed to wangle a stamp of legitimacy to the illegal acts of this government. Any rubber stamp judgment of the PCO judges will not be accepted by the legal fraternity and they will continue to oppose this judicial farce. The leaders of the bar have called upon the lawyers to remain watchful of such nefarious acts of the government.

Hamid Khan, Pakistan - 12 November, 2007

Oh! The Hipocracy of it All

- So let me get this right, we should throw Musharraf out because he is too cozy with the west, and then bring in someone who the west has forced Musharraf to cut a deal with. The one who is promising Bush that she will hand over Abdul Qadeer Khan to him and allow the US military to come into Pakistan to chase whoever they want to. Somehow I am having trouble understanding that one.

- Or maybe I misunderstood, we should throw him out because of corruption and then bring in someone who twice has proven her own corruption, the lady who has corruption cases pending throughout the world. Oh! I remember you told me these charges are politically motivated. Hmm, remind me again what political motives either Switzerland or Spain have against the former prime minister of Pakistan. Oh! I see, you don’t want her, you wanted the guy whose treasury was empty when he was kicked out, yeah, and the army guy was really confused about how he was going to pay the government workers their next paycheck.

- Oh! I think I got it, we should throw him out because he can not maintain law and order. So explain to me one more time why was it that I was scared to go out after dark in Karachi before this army guy came in and Karachi streets used to be deserted after 10 PM, and you could routinely here machine gun fire in Karachi.

- Oops! I remember, we should throw him out because he is against the judiciary, wasn't there something about the democracy champion, you know the guy who says if you want democracy pick me, and if you want dictatorship keep the dude in the army fatigues, wasn't there a story about him. You know the one about when he was prime minister he had sent his goons to chase the chief justice of Pakistan inside the supreme court building, what was his name, something like Sajjad Ali Shah. You remember this story it keeps going around in newspapers and TV talk shows. Was it the democracy champion guy or the democracy champion girl who sent those goons, I can’t remember.

- I almost forgot, we are suppose to kick the army guy out because he doesn’t know how to run the economy, our GDP growth was the second highest on the planet last year. And for some strange reason all them rich foreigners are pouring billions of dollars into Pakistan ever since he has been around.

- And he doesn’t know how to deal with India, even though somehow he was able to stop those Indians from overrunning our country, wasn’t that just three years ago? And now he’s got the peace process going and trains and plains are running back and forth. How dumb is that?

- Boy I sure believe you guys when you tell me this democracy champion girl is sure going to take care of those Taliban. She is really good at those kinds of things, we know that, even though she has no erience with that sort of stuff. She sure looks tough, she can stare that Osma guy down anytime.

- And you know what, this army guy is raising all this trouble on account of he just wants to stay in power. But we all know that the democracy champion guy and the democracy champion girl are doing everything out of the great goodness of their teeny tiny hearts, I have never seen any two people with purer intentions.

But I got to thank all you intellectuals, if you hadn’t figured all this out for me have done something really stupid and would have left this army guy alone. Thank you, thank you for your pure genius.

Yaqub Ehsan, Pakistan - 12 November, 2007

The Theme

If Mr.Musharraf is sincere to have Pakistan as a stronger country, he can introduce a revolutionary form of government in accordance with Islamic virtues, as the theory of western democracy has been always a failure. But if he is decisive to have a war on Islamic theology, he like Bush will lose the ground in humiliation. This in reaction will provide more authority and popularity to religious extrimists.

Ahmad Farquleed, Pakistan - 12 November, 2007

Bhutto gave Musharraf a rope, and he hung himself with it. The radicals will assassinate Bhutto, and then what?

Christa Cohen, United Kingdom - 13 November, 2007


The declaration/imposition of emergency as other events in the history of the nation of Pakistan has produced some predictable and many unpredictable responses from Pakistanis in these columns.

Some are extremely analytical, while other have responded in anger, frustration, philosophical handwringing, bemoan the state of affairs and also blame external forces for the nation’s predicament.

Some have used beautiful and meaningful arguments and quality expressions while others have resorted to outbursts bordering on vulgarity and despair.

The truth is that Pakistan’s problems are of purely Pakistani origin. No one can say that none from the outside has the authority to comment on Pakistan’s internal affairs while craving for world attention at the same time.

Some have felt that all comments undermine the great religion of Islam.

While not being able to vouch for others, this writer is neither interested in propping up one religion over the other. There is no dearth of high minded sayings in any religion but those who practice them (the religions) rarely measure up to the expectations.

It is only very naïve people who believe that Pakistan’s problems are fleeting. New rulers will repeat the sins of their past masters and the country will sink into the same pattern of instability as before.

Imposed changes are temporary. Real changes come from the root.

P.S: This writer is not a Hindu or any other religious covert or overt fanatic. He views all religions with equal amusement for the antics of the respective followers.

A. V. RAO, United Kingdom - 13 November, 2007

Causing "Emergency"

Emergency Everywhere is Co-related Musharaf Bhutto Nawaz (inclusive).
Half a Trillion dollar in Mortgage collapsed .The investments to acquire
Iran oil Afghanistan Iraq (permanently) will never happen. Iraq Invasion
using Pension fund and other investment losts hundred of billion dollars.When Democracy has Hire hired Economist in India or Banker in Pakistan or if they
Are Building luxury Condominiums and business plaza or Mfg
Cars and 650 or 900 seats 8 storey high Jumbo jet airlines in operation
they are in trouble trying to make money using free Iraq oil Iran oil OPEC oil
Killing live people and creating Emergencies. Asma Jehangir Benazir
Bhutto Musharaf Nawaz G Brown GWBush Sarcozy Merkel want ideal result
Which will never be available. Common Wealth declared “10 days to lift emergency
or we come and Rule Pakistan using Pakistanis ransacking creating death
destruction and self annihilation and Emergencies.”Nawaz had fired
Musharaf while PMusharaf had deposed NSharif .Choudhury Iftikhar
CJustice was fired rehired and then Deposed who claimed No body born yet to take away my permanent employment of Chief Justice overriding Rule of Govt
of Pakistan Basic Constitution(including that of Pervez Musharaf).Asma Jehangir talks anti State Act while breaking basics of Violation to be arrested.Govt Act is act with or without precise Clause.All Bankers and mortgage stealing Inestment stealing is not quite same with declaration that Ambani Mittel Hinduja Bachans Birla making daily stock
gains in London Tokyo Paris and Newyork.If you think Bush Brown Harper have valid democracy valid judges valid equality Patriotic Act following themselves Terrorism Act following themselves You are wrong . Imagine if they are themselves doing what real Mass killer Serial Killers or Psychopath killers do by indirectly doing themselves.Do you think they are obeying the law of Mortgage law Business Law or Banking Law world Trade Tariff Law then you are wrong. The lay out of their Common wealth layout of Real British Common Wealth UN Rule or European Union Accounts disbursement rule is not what you think should be. They are all honestly dishonest unwillingly terrorist breaking security of others and their own. Emergency is Outcome which cannot be resolved by dictates.Emergency Monster of
oil Spill of SEA or their Jet
airlines or Biblical Monster anti christ inclusive.

zmb, Hungary - 13 November, 2007

Power Corrupts

You know as a Army man Mush may not be financially corrupt but morally he has proven his ailing ambitions to the people of Pakistan. Why Pakistanis don't wanna react to anything, well, they already have learnt to survive the worst as for them all five senses are dead. Thanks to the great general and his alikes in Politics or in Military who earned the reputation for Pakistan as the most undesirable and dangerous place on Earth. I feel sympathy for all these individuals who think they are immortal and there wealth and power will rest in peace with them.

Zain, Pakistan - 14 November, 2007

Why not a Pakistani TADA law

I think Pakistan should pass a law in assemblies which allows police to arrest any citizen under the suspicion of treason; this will help to bring peace. There are already, such few laws in place in neighboring India since 1997, but of course such laws should not be misused to target people from minority religious groups as it happens in India.

Salim, Hungary - 14 November, 2007

the brew of fraud.

Plans by President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney to attack Iran have been at least temporarily derailed by the mounting crisis in Pakistan. Not only is this important South Asia nation a key US ally in its conflict with anti-western Muslim groups (aka "the war of terror"), the US also planned to use three Pakistani air bases it now controls to launch air attacks against Iran.

I’ve been in regular contact with former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. She calls the situation "grim." On Friday, she was temporarily put under house arrest, preventing her from leading a mass demonstration in Islamabad. On Tuesday, she plans to lead a mass protest march from Lahore, to which she flew over the weekend, to Islamabad, mobilizing her party faithful and challenging the Musharraf regime.

Another important Pakistani party, Jamiat Islami, is also threatening mass demonstrations. Bhutto and other opposition leaders are calling on Musharraf to resign as military chief and run in fair, internationally supervised elections.

Musharraf’s imposition of martial law, arrest of Supreme Court justices who were going to rule illegal his continued role as commander-in-chief and president, arrest of other opposition figures and muzzling the formerly feisty media have proven most embarrassing to the Bush Administration which claims to be an apostle of democracy. Bush, who claims to have invaded Afghanistan and Iraq in order to bring them the light of democracy, must continue supporting Pakistan’s military dictator or see his war in Afghanistan collapse.

So, under heavy pressure from Washington, Musharraf agreed to hold elections on 15 January and release some jailed opponents. Washington hailed Musharraf. In reality, however, it was another cynical ploy. Every election Musharraf has held since seizing power in 1999 has been rigged. Does anyone really believe there will be fair elections in Pakistan under martial law or with the media gagged?

Musharraf, who commands less than 8% popular support, and is widely hated as an American stooge, knows he would lose any honest election. What he plans are the same kind of farcical "democratic elections" held by the US-backed military dictatorships of Egypt and Algeria.

Many senior officers fear their continued support of Musharraf is turning the public against the armed forces and injuring its good name.

Gen. Ashfaq Kiyani, the newly named vice chief of staff, could be Pakistan’s next strongman. If Musharraf is overthrown, killed or driven from office, Washington has chosen Gen. Kiyani as its Plan B, either with or without Benazir Bhutto. Kiyani has close links to the US and received part of his military training there.

The Swat Valley, which is well inside Pakistan, fell to Islamists two weeks ago.

This could mark the beginning of a rebellion in the ranks. The loyalty of the army’s senior officers has been rented by billions of dollars of secret aid the CIA has funneled through Musharraf. Those who could not be bought were ousted, including Pakistan’s most capable military men.

Official post-9/11 US aid to Pakistan is $10.6 billion, but "black" payments are many times higher. Some reports put them at $1 billion monthly. These mammoth payoffs have not trickled down to the mid and lower ranks. They have vanished into the pockets of the military brass and senior officials. Pakistan’s armed forces are still woefully deficient in modern arms.

Gen. Hamid Gul, former director general of Pakistan’s intelligence service, ISI, has also been arrested. He kept accusing Musharraf of selling out Pakistan’s national interests in return for cash and US support for his dictatorship – and of dishonoring the military. Gen. Gul still has many friends in the army and ISI. He shouted what many officers whisper.

In lauding Musharraf, President Bush made no mention of the dictator’s disgraceful firing of Supreme Court justices who were about to declare Mush’s ongoing rule violated the constitution. Nor has Bush or the US Congress issued any demands that the exiled former PM Nawaz Sharif, leader of Pakistan’s other major political party, the Muslim League, be allowed to return to contest elections.

So much for supporting democracy. In the name of fighting extremism, Musharraf has jailed or intimidated nearly all of Pakistan’s political moderates.

In Washington’s wrongheaded view, it’s either Mush or the mullahs. Or if Musharraf falters, then it’s Bhutto or Gen. Kiyani.

Many of her friends and supporters are appalled she would make a shady, backroom deal with the military dictator. Gen. Kiyani remains an unknown.

Anyone who still wonders why so many people in the Muslim World hate the west needs look no further than Pakistan, where, in the name of "democracy" and "counter-terrorism" Washington and London are stirring a witches' brew of dictatorship, intrigue and violence.

gulam fareed, Pakistan - 14 November, 2007


More than any other community in the world, Muslims believe in religion based unity and brotherhood. This belief is based on the assumption that “brothers should come to the aid of brothers in the time of (brother’s) need.” Based on this version terms like “The Muslim World” and its interests and the “Assault on the Muslim world and Pakistan by the non Muslim World and media"These comments by Mr Rao reflect his true feelings toward muslims period.the mass murderers of japanese were white christians who droped nukes on nagasaki and hiroshima.hindus who kill kashmiris in occupied kasmir are are decent humans??your fascination with pakistani politics is amazing.. THIS WRITER IS NOT A HINDU OR A SIKH OR A CHRISTIAN..OR A JEWISH FANATIC OR A CHRISTIAN FANATIC OF ABU GHARIB...THANK GOD..

gulam fareed, Pakistan - 14 November, 2007


Yes, Gen. Musharraf's imposition of Emergency is fully justified. If eachpillar of State would like to turn itself into a separate state within the state,this was the only option to save Pakistan.

Yes Emergency will be able to curb fundamentalism and extremism,as is proved by experiences in some oter countries.

Free Judisiary does not mean, two Presidents in one country, as Ifikhar wanted to do.

Mohammed Ibrahim, Canada - 15 November, 2007

Decomposing Musharraff

Miserable plight and humilating end belong to those who take on deitis other than Allah SWT , both in this world and in the inevitable hereafter.

When you abandon Allah, Allah abandons you and when Allah abandons you , you are no better than the proverbial Doggy " Na Ghar Ka , Na Ghatka . Poor and Miskin Musharraff is now not acceptable even with or without uniform to Benazir. Where does he go from here ??

They plot and Allah plots and the best of the plots are the plots plotted by Allah SWT. Allah O Akbar !!!

Ahsan Malik, Pakistan - 15 November, 2007

Ahsan Malik's Allah

Said Ahsan Malik :"Musharaf has been abandoned by Allah
Musharaf has been abandoned by Benazir".Benazir is just one candidate (under house arrest).
Pervez Musharaf worship deity
who is deity ?

, Pakistan - 15 November, 2007

Dear Ghulam Farid, If you don't have enough wisdom than don't pull up stupid conspiracy theories.
US is not attacking Iran for the simple reason that Iran will mine the whole gulf, which will disrupt the whole world's economy, incl. US.
I hope now you are able to see now the most obvious reason.

, Pakistan - 16 November, 2007

Response to Benaam and Gumnaam

Weak or Zero faith Musharraff took on America and Bush as his deity other than Allah SWT and like in any other cases , is subsequently paying the inevitable humilating consequential consequences designated for those who abandon Allah SWT.

Musharraff always had Bush and America not Allah SWT or Muslim Ummah's interest in his mind while planning his actions and even his speeches and hence his current status of "Dhobi Ka Kuttha" - Na ghar ka , Na ghat ka and his miserable plight will get worse and worse in the coming days and only for this day , with all his amazing wisdom , Allah SWT continously protected him from all the well planned assasination attempts so as to teach him a lesson no human vision can foresee, Subhan'Allah . They plan and Allah Plans and the best of plans and the timing of those deadly plans are the plans planned by Allah SWT. Allah O Akbar.

O Allah, We 100% submit and surrender ourself to thee, to your Akbarpan , to your flawless judgement and to the sense your perfect timing . O Allah , We 100% submit and surrender ourself to the power and might of your astonishing Wisdom. O Allah, We pray and pray and pray to guide us all on to the path of those on whom you rained your blessings and O Allah, We pray and pray to Keep us away from the path of those on whom rained your anger and humilations. A'amin Ya Rab A'amin.

Ahsan Malik, Pakistan - 16 November, 2007

freedumb in pakistan??

WHEN the nation is about to be declared a failed state,” asks embattled Pervez Musharraf, “tell me whether…so-called democracy is important or efforts to save the country?” After saving the country for the last eight years he obviously wants to do it all over again.

If memory serves, the primary excuse for his first coup in Oct 1999 was the same chestnut: that Pakistan was about to be declared a failed state. As self-indictments go this is quite a devastating one. But in his present saviour-mode Musharraf can’t be expected to have much time for such fine distinctions.

“Have you thought of (resigning)?” asks Sky News. The answer: “But should it be given up now and we will have better Pakistan, a stabler Pakistan and we could have very good elections, without me? Very good, maybe I take that decision, OK?” (No kidding, the very words.)

As the BBC Urdu Service’s Mohammad Hanif observes (in his hilarious “The case of Musharraf and the drunk uncle”), “Musharraf deserves our sympathy. Not because he has been forced to carry out a coup against his own regime, not because his troops are being kidnapped en masse by Pakistani Taliban and then awarded Rs500 for good behaviour, not because he himself has become a prisoner in his Army House and can’t even nip out for coffee and paan as he used to, but because he has utterly lost his grip over grammar.”

Musharraf may have done the nation a final service by lifting the last veil of illusion from Benazir Bhutto who now says, after a somewhat longish journey into the kingdom of make-believe, she will have no truck with him and their ways have parted. Better late than never. There is no shortage of Pakistanis fervently hoping she sticks to this position, considering her to be the key to opposition unity at this juncture.

The luckiest thing to have ever happened to Musharraf was not American aid post-Sep 11 but the dithering, weak-kneed opposition he has enjoyed, his dictatorship made easy first by Nawaz Sharif’s un-seasonal pilgrimage to the Holy Land in Dec 2000, then by the support of the religious parties at the time of the 17th Amendment (sanctifying his rule) in 2003 and, last of all, the purported deal with Benazir Bhutto under American sponsorship. Hopefully this is now over. Anyone could have told Musharraf it was not in his interest to burn his bridges with Bhutto. But when paranoia takes over, as it has nowadays in the corridors of power, subtlety is an early casualty. Credit must also be given to Bhutto for finally being able to read which way the wind is blowing. Siding with Musharraf now would be worse than political suicide.

Even our American godfathers are getting frustrated with him because he is getting nothing right. Indeed, after Mar 9 almost everything he has done has turned into a blunder, the action of Nov 3 of course qualifying for a higher title: catastrophe.

Against the Taliban Musharraf has won no victories. In fact under his watch it is the Taliban who have conquered territory and inflicted heavy losses on the army. His victories have been against the last outposts of liberal thought in Pakistan: the superior judiciary, the legal community, the media, political activists and students (from upscale schools and colleges). But he professes to uphold the banner of progress and enlightenment. There is a mangling of language we are witnessing in Pakistan today with words being used in a manner Goebbels would have approved of.

But wailing alone availeth nothing. Dictators don’t give up power easily. They go not when their time is up, they being notoriously insensible to the march of time, but when the issue is forced. When anger boils over and becomes an unstoppable political movement.

Musharraf will do all he can to remain in power. Of this we can be sure. What will the forces claiming to speak on the people’s behalf do? That is the important question.This brings me to Imran Khan’s manhandling at the Punjab University, Lahore, by activists of the Islami Jamiat-i-Tulaba, the student wing of the Jamaat-i-Islami. Not only was he prevented from holding a demonstration and courting arrest, as he had intended, but he was seized and confined in one of the departments before being handed over to the police. Words fail me to describe this shameful incident.

But Imran has not been diminished by it. He continues to stand tall. He is a brave man who has showed great courage during the post-martial law period. It is the Jamiat and its parent body, the Jamaat, which look small. Manhandling one of the few national heroes we have and then handing him over to the police: can anything be more despicable?laannath onMQM.
PS...Dear Ghulam Farid, If you don't have enough wisdom than don't pull up stupid conspiracy theories..YOU ARE A MORON..what is your name? ask me a question and i will educate your lame brain..

gulam fareed, Pakistan - 16 November, 2007


It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why the crooked Princess Ferragamo--Benazir Bhutto—has returned to Pakistan. Bhutto’s been traipsing all over Washington trying to garner support from think-tank heavies and establishment powerbrokers to help her stage a political come-back in Islamabad. She even hired a high-powered public relations firm to polish her image so the media wouldn’t focus too much attention on her past transgressions. Allegations of money laundering and corruption have haunted Bhutto ever since she was driven from office in 1996. Last month, General Musharraf cut a deal with Bhutto which freed her from the prospect of criminal prosecution and allowed her to return home. The arrangement ignored the judicial system entirely. The $1.5 billion that she and her husband allegedly “received in a variety of criminal enterprises” has simply disappeared down the memory hole.But, then, anyone can make a mistake and Bhutto has since offered her sincere regrets and promised to rid Pakistan of the ‘scourge of terrorism’. This must be music to the ears of her new patrons in Washington.

It’s astonishing how quickly one can "see the light" when their career depends on changing their point-of-view.
US historian, Arthur Herman, in a letter published in the Wall Street Journal, described Bhutto as “One of the most incompetent leaders in the history of South Asia;” adding that she and other Pakistani elites hated Musarraf because he is “muhajir”, born of Indian Muslims. Herman claims, “Although it was muhajirs who agitated for the creation of Pakistan in the first place, many native Pakistanis view them with contempt and treat them as third-class citizens.”

Herman makes an interesting point. Perhaps, Bhutto saw the footage of Hurricane Katrina--where the mostly poor, black Americans were herded cattle-like into the Superdome at gunpoint---and realized she could find common-ground with the Washington political class. After all, she matriculated at Harvard and Oxford, so we can expect that her views are not that different from other "bluebloods" who regularly defend discrimination, waterboarding, endless war and other shocking abuses on the op-ed pages of Americans leading newspapers. In any event, she was certainly persuasive when she addressed members of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) on Aug 15, 2007. She seemed to fit right in with the gathering of corporate chieftains, media bigwigs and other assorted political elites. There was plenty of back-slapping and jocularity as CFR President Richard Haass introduced his distinguished guest, Bhutto, to the assembled throng:

“It's hard to imagine someone better placed to speak about the current situation in Pakistan than Benazir Bhutto. She was born into one of Pakistan's leading political families. She was educated at both Harvard and Oxford. And -- full confession -- let me say that she and I met some -- at the risk of being less than gallant -- 30 years ago or so at Oxford. We would have met even earlier than that, at Harvard, except she got accepted and I did not. (Laughter.) And of such things history is made. (Laughter.) I'm almost over it, by the way. (Laughter.)” Ha, ha, ha. Allow me to extract this silver spoon from my mouth long enough to assure you that Madame Bhutto has an acceptable pedigree to oversee our colony in Pakistan and will execute our military plans to expand the war into the tribal areas of Waziristan spreading suffering and death to another corner of the world which hasn’t yet been thoroughly obliterated by our ambition for global domination. Ha, ha ha.
Bhutto was asked directly about the so-called Miranshah agreement which Musharraf worked out so that he could withdrawal Pakistani troops from North Waziristan where his army was sustaining heavy losses. Musharraf had only won minor concessions from the tribal leaders who were supposed to limit their support for the Taliban. The treaty was a complete hoax designed to extricate Musharraf from an "unwinnable" war that was universally unpopular with Pakistanis. Unfortunately, the treaty turned out to be Musharraf’s death sentence. When it became clear to Bush and his neocon colleagues that Musharraf would not carry out their war agenda; they began to sharpen their daggers and plan for his removal. That is why Bhutto was exhumed from her Dubai mausoleum long enough to play a part in this latest Bush comic operetta. This has nothing to do with “democracy promotion”. It’s just another grim chapter in the “color-coded revolution” digest. The whole performance is being staged courtesy of the US intelligence agencies and the compliant establishment media. Bush doesn’t care about democracy any more than Bhutto. What he’s looking for is someone who’ll take on the Taliban in Waziristan. That's it. And that's why Musarraf's day's are numbered.

jalaudeen rumi, Pakistan - 16 November, 2007

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