November 04, 2007

Musharraf's game

The State of emergency in Pakistan was anticipated ever since Benazir Bhutto left for Dubai to meet her family members. Some say she was tipped off or was there to make a deal. All the news channels had been taken off air and mobile phone signals and Internet connections were jammed.

The judiciary is under attack as they are alleged to impede the war against terror by interfering with legislation and executive branches. The media is under attack to stop free flow of information and rallying against Musharrof, especially the overseas Pakistani TV channels like GEO.

The Pakistani Blogosphere tells its more than an state of emergency but just short of a martial law. Its an oxymoron really as Musharrof was the dictator last eight years playing the game of democracy.

The Pakistani general was impressed by the so far successful "minus 2 formula" of Bangladesh and this can still be implemented as a better option than any deal with Benazir Bhutto (or Nawaz Sharif) considering "the US did more than any other country to bring Bhutto back and broker the deal that would have brought democracy back to Pakistan".

Quite contradictorily experts say "the mute reaction of the United States clearly showed General Musharraf would have taken permission from the US before imposing emergency in Pakistan."

So its clearly a game and the pawn is the war against terror. Pakistani blog Chapati Mystery comments "Zimbabwe, here we come". Too bad for Pakistan.

Update: Global Voices Online has set up a Special Coverage Page on "Pakistan Emergency 2007" where they are aggregating their own coverage of the events plus regular updates from selected English-language blogs and other relevant information.

Update II: The Guardian Online has a running newsblog on Pakistan.


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