Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Gen Musharraf imposes emergency rule

The imposition of emergency rule in Pakistan by General Musharraf on Saturday and conduct of the country’s police forces have disgusted Pakistanis all over the world.

Gen Musharraf has clearly demonstrated in his own words that he “is committed to the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law and holds the superior judiciary in high esteem” by immediate sacking all senior high court judges who are prepared to uphold the law and placing them under house arrest.

He believes that relentlessly beating protesting lawyers (and judges) by the “completely demoralised” police force and putting these actions “beyond accountability” will have greatly restore the Pakistan police forces confidence.

Sadly, this barbaric attempt by a dictator to stay in power by suspending all accountability, propped up by foreign powers will only disgust decent people all over the world.

Most Pakistanis suspect the whole process has been engineered by the US. They forced Musharraf to allow Benazir Bhutto back into the country, offer her amnesty against corruption charges and negotiate some sort of handover with her.

The West is more interested in seeing Musharraf step down as head of the army but remain in control as President of the country. It is less interested in the destruction of existing democratic institutions and the suspension of the constitution, resulting in:

  • Immediate sacking of all senior high court judges who are prepared to uphold the law

  • Arrest, beating and imprisonment of lawyer who dare to protest

None of these vile acts are likely to be undone. This is the price Pakistan will have to pay to satisfy foreign powers for Musharrafs so called support on the war on terror, once again.

  • The chief justice of the Supreme Court Iftikhar Chaudhry and other judges have been sacked and are under house arrest

  • Cable operators have been stopped from transmitting TV news within the country

  • Radio stations have also been banned from broadcasting news

  • Newspapers may not print anything critical of the government

What message does raiding the offices of the country's leading rights organisation, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, and arresting/detaining them send out to the rest of the world?

As expected, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party appears not to have been targeted in the crackdown.

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