Author Topic: State of Emergency - Pakistan  (Read 21821 times)

ReWind.it

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State of Emergency - Pakistan
« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2007, 07:28:47 PM »
I think he is just pissed that Bhutto is going to 'embrace' democracy now that she has been okayed with her corruption. The recipe for disaster is there and he can't decide what he is anymore, a dictator with military, or a guy who can give up that and go towards democracy. He seriously needs some counselling.
A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.
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skdadl

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« Reply #16 on: November 03, 2007, 07:38:32 PM »
Well, no. It's not like that.

This is a big-power game. Cheney needs someone in Pakistan who can play all the local games -- and there are a lot of those, which the Americans are not competent to control -- and yet still deliver what the Americans need. If Musharraf can continue to do that, ok. He'll stay. If he can't, Bhutto will do.

It's like that. And I don't think the nukes matter seriously, unless India gets worried.

ReWind.it

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« Reply #17 on: November 03, 2007, 08:05:03 PM »
Quote from: skdadl

 Cheney needs someone in Pakistan who can play all the local games -- and there are a lot of those, which the Americans are not competent to control -- and yet still deliver what the Americans need. If Musharraf can continue to do that, ok. He'll stay. If he can't, Bhutto will do.


Yep agreed, that's what I think too. But you know, one does wonder about the assassination attempt on Bhutto.
A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.
Sir Winston Churchill

skdadl

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« Reply #18 on: November 03, 2007, 08:14:30 PM »
Oh, yes, well -- there are a lot of assassination attempts going on at any one time, and they are coming from a number of conflicting directions.

In a way, that is what matters. If you look at the big-power picture, which is what both Musharraf and Bhutto have been corrupted into doing, then figuring out how to mediate in Pakistan to keep it quiet enough for the Americans is what you do.

But if you look at the realities of Pakistan, you can see a melt-down coming. Nobody ever said Dick Cheney was competent, only that he is very powerful. But he has been wrong every time about what messes would result from his plotting, and I don't think that any of the major players can control this one.

ReWind.it

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« Reply #19 on: November 03, 2007, 08:30:42 PM »
It is a spectacle for sure. Normally we in the west wouldn't give a dam, but this is do it or die. Bhutto I imagine doesn't have a clue if she is going to be arrested or deported. She must have shored up a lot of security/support.

But my post above was meant to convey Musharaff's doubts about the Pakistan's supreme court giving him permission or legality I guess, to be re-elected as president. Has that now been quashed? I don't know. He has certainly made some new problems for hisself, as I'm sure the people will rise up in public protest. This is a complete breakdown.

I love it when you say things like "Cheney is not the brightest just the most powerful' but for how long?
A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.
Sir Winston Churchill

Mandos

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« Reply #20 on: November 04, 2007, 10:34:45 AM »
Here is one of Dawn's latest articles:

Quote
“... (T)here has been increasing interference by some members of the judiciary in government policy, adversely affecting economic growth, in particular,” it said, adding that there was “constant interference in executive functions.”


http://www.dawn.com/2007/11/04/top1.htm

This expresses annoyance at the judiciary's interference in privatisation of national industries, which triggered this episode starting March.

matttbastard

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State of Emergency - Pakistan
« Reply #21 on: November 04, 2007, 01:07:05 PM »
One minor quibble: Pakistan is not in the Middle East, but rather South Asia.
 :ducking:

With that out of the way, the NY Times reports that Musharraf has been quick to consolidate power and squelch opposition (purely in the interest of 'security', of course):

Quote
About 500 opposition party workers, lawyers and human rights activists were arrested today as the government of General Pervez Musharraf tried to consolidate its control after imposing emergency rule.

[...]

In the city of Lahore, police officers armed with tear gas tried to break up a meeting of regime opponents at the headquarters of the Pakistan Human Rights Commission. They took dozens of people away in police vans.

Around the country, at least 80 lawyers were arrested, in an apparent bid to head off demonstrations that lawyers groups had planned for Monday.

Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said at a news conference today that new parliamentary elections, which had been expected in January, could be “up to a year” away. He said up to 500 opposition activists had been arrested nationwide.

[...]

 The main opposition leader, Benazir Bhutto, returned to Pakistan on Saturday night from Dubai and accused Musharraf of using the specter of terrorism to prolong his hold on power. “This is not emergency,” she said. “This is martial law.”

Bhutto spent today at her residence in Karachi. Leaders of her party, the Pakistan People’s Party, said she would fly to Islamabad to hold talks with other opposition parties about how to proceed. But Bhutto did not show up here.

In interviews with foreign television channels, Bhutto, who returned to Pakistan after years in exile in October with the backing of the United States, appealed for free and fair elections. But sympathizers to her cause said her options for influencing the situation appeared limited.

Organizing large protests under emergency rule, and after the bomb attack on her arrival procession Oct. 18 that killed 140 people, would be difficult, said Najem Sethi, the editor in chief of The Daily Times.

“Verbally she will be very critical,” Sethi said. “But she is not going to participate in protests. She’s going to make a token representation. Behind the scenes she will work with the government for elections as soon as possible.”

[...]

Among the dozens of lawyers arrested was the president of the Supreme Court bar association, Aitzaz Ahsan, who has opposed Musharraf in legal arguments and in political protests, said Ayesha Tammy Haq, an Islamabad lawyer.

“If you want to take the country away from Talibanization, these are the people who can do it, the secular middle class,” said Haq, as she waited Sunday at the Adiala jail in Rawalpindi to see Ahsan.

A government spokesman, Tariq Aziz Khan, said the arrests of lawyers were “preventive measures” taken because of a “threat to future law and order.”

[...]

Aziz, the prime minister, said today that the government planned to work on “a code of conduct” for broadcasters.


The tinfoil-hatty part of my personality half-jokingly wonders if this is all a dry-run for 2008.  :spy:
I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth, and I am a citizen of the world.

lagatta

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« Reply #22 on: November 04, 2007, 02:28:39 PM »
Yes, moderators, please move this to "Asia". Thanks.
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

skdadl

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« Reply #23 on: November 04, 2007, 02:32:04 PM »
With whom are you quibbling, matt? I don't see anyone above using the expression Middle East, and I think everyone here has known for a long time that Pakistan is Central Asia in the context of this regional war, although it becomes something slightly different when we remember India (which we are trying not to do for the moment).

There is no intelligent way to think about any of this, though, without recognizing that there is a regional war on simmer -- and in a few places now boiling -- that crosses over from Central Asia to the Middle East, and that has happened mainly because of U.S. foreign policy, with al-Qaeda (Saudis) as a secondary effect. All of Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan, and Pakistan are now part of that simmer, and it could spread west (Syria, Lebanon, Jordan/Palestine).

skdadl

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« Reply #24 on: November 04, 2007, 02:37:17 PM »
Oh, I see: people are worried about the forum Rewind put this thread in. (I never notice.)

Well: the world presents us with that problem at the moment, don't it. The Americans don't exactly see the dividing line between the ME and Central Asia, so there you go.

lagatta

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« Reply #25 on: November 04, 2007, 02:50:09 PM »
skdadl, Pakistan is usually considered part of SOUTH Asia - look at the BBC News site. It is Afghanistan that is in Central Asia - sure, of course those terms are arbitrary, as Afghanistan borders both Pakistan (South Asia) and Iran (Middle East). But indeed, the US government and their allies and minions don't really make any distinction, now, do they?

Even in America, while sabre-rattling, Cheney confused Venezuela and Peru (those two countries do NOT border each other).

I don't know if we have a "forebodings of World War" category.  :cry:
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

Mandos

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State of Emergency - Pakistan
« Reply #26 on: November 04, 2007, 02:50:09 PM »
I moved the topic.

Mandos

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« Reply #27 on: November 04, 2007, 02:52:33 PM »
Dawn has an editorial.  

http://www.dawn.com/2007/11/04/ed.htm#1

Quote
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.

skdadl

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« Reply #28 on: November 04, 2007, 03:08:21 PM »
Mandos, don't you find that pretty disingenuous?

Sheesh. Anything that has happened as window-dressing for democracy in Pakistan since 2001 happened because Musharraf accepted the deal he couldn't refuse (as presented pretty graphically by Richard Armitage, link easily googlable), and he was rewarded for that. But all the old forces are still in play. What has changed, maybe, is that Musharraf misjudged how far he could string the fundies along, and they have become much stronger. So what's his response? To toss the liberals in jail?

I accept that the man is in a very difficult situation. He is. I don't see that rabbiting on about democracy is very helpful at this point, frankly.

Mandos

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« Reply #29 on: November 04, 2007, 03:20:27 PM »
No, I think the problem is wider than mere trivial fundies, which to me are more of a window dressing than anything else and ultimately represent a drop in the bucket of Pakistan's population.  The Supreme Court Justices were blocking his economic plans.  Look at the complaint.

 

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