Intoxicated by the Incense of Power – Pakistan Sinks Deeper Into the Night By TARIQ ALI

Pakistan Special Report Click for Al Jazeera Special Report

Q&A: Bhutto, Musharraf and developments in Pakistan –

“Provisional Constitutional Order: PCO” – Full Text of Pakistan Emergency Declaration
Bhutto is not arrested, deal with Musharraf seems intact
Pakistan: Martial Law, Media Jammed

Judge: Several Lawyers Opposed to Musharraf Arrested
‘They Can Take Me Away, but They Will Not Stop the Lawyers’ Struggle’
US Officials See Few Options for Pakistan
Pakistan Militants Seize Police Stations
Pakistan: Musharraf Sees Threat to Country
‘Tough New Media Policy’ Introduced in Pakistan
As Crisis Deepens, White House Endures Diminished Power to Influence Events

Pakistani News Channels Taken Off Air
US ‘Deeply Disturbed’ by Pakistan Emergency Rule
It’s a second coup: Bhutto
Sharif Calls for Musharraf’s Resignation
Khan escapes amid Pakistan crackdown
Musharraf move is nightmare for Bush
Bush Bets the Farm on Musharraf
Thousands Face Down Pakistani Police
Musharraf’s Military Aid Flows On
Lawyers Take on Musharraf

Bush Urges Musharraf to Reverse Course but Signals No Penalty
Lawyers vs. the General
Pakistan Attempts to Crush Protests by Lawyers
Bhutto Threatens Demonstrations
Crackdown Widens as Musharraf Insists Emergency Rule Needed to Fight ‘Terrorism’
Former Chief Justice: Emergency Rule a Naked Attack on Pakistan’s Constitution
Pakistan Threatens to Seal Jang Press
Sporadic Clashes Continue in NW Pakistan
Pakistan to Keep Elections Date

Militants Move Beyond Tribal Areas in Pakistan
Aid Still Flows to Pakistan
Take Off Uniform, Bush Tells Musharraf
Britain Demands ‘Free and Fair’ Elections in Pakistan but Rules Out Aid Cuts
US Tied to Pakistan With Billions in Aid
US Military Aid to Pakistan Misses Its al-Qaeda Target

US, Pakistan to Continue Joint Operations
Overview of US Aid to Pakistan
Bhutto Rules Out Talks With Musharraf
Escaped Opposition Figure Vows to Oppose Musharraf

Pakistan AG: State of Emergency May Only Last 30 Days
Pakistani Lawyers’ Anger Grew as Hope for Changes Withered
With News Banned From TV, Pakistanis Find It on Web
Commonwealth Crisis Meeting Called Over Pakistan Ban
Australian FM Condemns ‘Dictator’ Musharraf Irrelevant
Amnesty Urges US to Ensure Weapons Sent to Pakistan Aren’t Used on Peaceful Protesters
Tourist Spot Is New Frontline for Pakistani Islamists

Pakistan emergency: No end in sight
Pakistan emergency ‘aiding Taliban’ 
Pakistan’s Bhutto detained again
Corrupt Elites and a Kleptocratic Military – The Roots of Pakistan’s Political Crisis By SADIA ABBAS
Logistical Vulnerabilities and the Afghanistan War – The Pakistan Fuel Connection By ROBERT BRYCE

Where are the Demonstrations? – Pakistani Lawyers vs. American Lawyers By RALPH NADER

Imran Khan arrested Pakistan labels Khan a terrorist – SMH – 15 Nov.07
Bhutto Calls on Musharraf to Resign
Bhutto: I Will Never Work With Musharraf
Musharraf Warns Bhutto Against Calling for His Resignation
Who Drafted Musharraf’s November 3 Proclamations?
In Interview, Musharraf Defends Rule by Decree
Musharraf’s Army Losing Ground in Insurgent Areas
Militant Killed While Planting Bomb in Pakistani City
Dozen US Rights Groups Ask Bush to Cut Off Military Aid to Pakistan
Bush Calls for End to Pakistan Emergency
Japan Threatens to Slash Pakistan Aid

Jemima Khan joins Pakistan protests in London

Jemima Khan joins Pakistan protests in London
Imran Khan on hunger strike – SMH – 20 Nov.07
Pakistan court throws out Musharraf challenges – SMH – 20 Nov.07
The U.S. Game Plan in Pakistan
US military strike on Pakistan advocated

Should Musharraf have declared state of emergency? – Your comments

For anyone marinated in the history of Pakistan yesterday’s decision by the military to impose a State of Emergency will hardly comes as a surprise. Martial Law in this country has become an antibiotic: in order to obtain the same results one has to keep doubling the doses. What has taken place is a coup within a coup.

General Pervaiz Musharraf ruled the country with a civilian façade, but his power base was limited to the Army. And it was the Army Chief of Staff who declared the emergency, suspended the 1973 Constitution, took all non-government TV channels off the air, jammed the mobile phone networks, surrounded the Supreme Court with paramilitary units, dismissed the Chief Justice, arrested the President of the Bar association and the civil rights activists of the Human Right Commission of Pakistan, thus inaugurating yet another shabby period in the country history.

Why? They feared that a Supreme Court judgement due next week might make it impossible for Musharraf to contest the elections. The decision to suspend the Constitution was taken a few weeks ago. Benazir Bhutto, was informed and left the country. She is reportedly on her way back. Till now she has offered no comment on the new martial law, despite the fact that a senior leader of her party, Aitzaz Ahsan has been arrested for denouncing the coup. Intoxicated by the incense of power she might now discover that it

Remains as elusive as ever. If she supports the latest turn it will be an act of political suicide. If she decides to dump the General(she has accused him of breaking his promises and it will be difficult for her to remain allied to a dictator) she will be betraying the confidence of the US State Department, which pushed her in this direction. At a recent off-the-record gathering at Ditchley Park(a British Foreign Office think-tank), the would-be Secretary of State, James Rubin, became short-tempered when Pakistani participants challenged his view that Bhutto was a decisive player in the ‘war on terror’ on the Western borders of the country.

The two institutions targeted by the Emergency are the judiciary and the lively network of independent TV stations, many of whose correspondents supply information that can never be gleaned from politicians. Geo TV the largest of these continued to broadcast outside the country. Hamid Mir, one of its sharpest journalists, reported yesterday afternoon that according to his sources the US Embassy had green lighted the coup because they regarded the Chief Justice as a nuisance and ‘a Taliban sympathiser’.

For a whole year now, the regime was confronted with a severe crisis of legitimacy that came to a head earlier this year when General Musharraf’s decision to suspend the Chief Justice, Iftikhar Hussein Chaudhry, provoked a six-month long mass movement that forced a government retreat. Some of Chaudhry’s judgements had challenged the government on key issues such as ‘disappeared prisoners’, harassment of women and rushed privatisations. It was feared that he might declare a uniformed President illegal.

The struggle to demand a separation of powers between the state and the judiciary, which has always been weak, was of critical importance. Pakistan’s judges have usually been acquiescent in the past. Those who resisted previous military leaders were cajoled, blackmailed, bullied and persuaded to retire. Pakistani judges spring from the same milieu as the rest of the ruling elite, which is why the decision of this chief justice to fight back was surprising, but extremely important and won him enormous respect, a commodity in short supply.

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.


Related Articles:

This entry was posted in Pakistan. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.