Crackdown

I am saddened by what’s going on in Pakistan. In case you’ve been off-planet, President General Pervez Musharraf has imposed emergency rule to crack down on Islamist fundamentalists because of the danger they pose to Pakistan’s democracy. This emergency rule suspends the country’s constitution and sounds a lot like a nice way of saying ‘martial law.’

The reason sounds laudable, but the only people arrested have been opposition members, judges, lawyers, and human rights activists. All non-government media has also been shut down. While it might be a coincidence that Pakistan’s supreme court was about to hand down its ruling on whether Musharraf’s election to the presidency is valid, I wouldn’t bet on it.

Musharraff, head of Pakistan’s military, seized power in a 1999 coup. Over the weekend, his government claimed the January elections might be delayed for up to a year. Monday, they backtracked and said the elections would be held as scheduled. I guess we’ll see, but I wouldn’t bet on this either.

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