Emergency in Pakistan: another dark night

On Saturday, President Musharraf imposed emergency in Pakistan, claiming the ‘visible ascendancy in the activities of extremists and incidents of terrorist attacks’ as the immediate provocation.

An excerpt from Tariq Ali‘s response in Counter Punch and the Independent:

Global media coverage of Pakistan suggests a country consisting of Generals, corrupt politicians and bearded lunatics. The struggle to reinstate the Chief Justice presented a different snapshot of the country. This movement for constitutional freedoms revived hope at a time when most people are alienated from the system and cynical about their rulers, whose ill-gotten wealth and withered faces consumed by vanity inspire nil confidence.

That this is the case can be seen in the heroic decision taken by the Supreme Court in a special session yesterday declaring the new dispensation ‘illegal and unconstitutional’. The hurriedly sworn in new Chief Justice will be seen for what he is: a stooge of the men in uniform. If the constitution remains in suspension for more than three months then Musharraf himself might be pushed aside by the Army and a new strongman put in place. Or it could be that the aim of the operation was limited to a cleansing of the Supreme Court and controlling the media. That is what Musharraf indicated in his broadcast to the nation. In which case a totally rigged election becomes a certainty next January. Whatever the case Pakistan’s long journey to the end of the night continues.

India’s official response, so far, has been cautious, merely asking for a ‘restoration of democracy’, without criticising Musharraf.

2 thoughts on “Emergency in Pakistan: another dark night”

  1. all this while I thought Musharaff was nothing more than a toothless tiger.

    the irony is that the court ruled in favour of Musharraf’s re-election.

    Or maybe it wasn’t that much of an irony at all!

    A lot of my business contacts in Pakistan are having troubles leaving the country because of the emergency. This has frustrated them tremendously!

    Somehow, the news always fails to capture the impact of these happenings on the regular man on the street!



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