November 3rd, 2007


Musharraf the dictator.

It looks like Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf has declared martial law, and has illegally sacked a Supreme Court Chief Justice who opposed the legality of his rule. Troops have been deployed to -- i.e. seized control of -- Pakistan Television and radio stations, and most phone lines are down. 

Musharraf had been awaiting a Supreme Court ruling on whether he was eligible to run for re-election last month while still army chief. The court had said on Friday it would reconvene on Monday and try to finish the case quickly.... apparently, Musharraf was tipped off as to the likely verdict.

Also, Aitzaz Ahsan, president of the Supreme Court Bar Association, was taken from his home and arrested.

"One man has taken the entire nation hostage ... Time has come for General Musharraf to go," he said. Fellow lawyers shouted "Go Musharraf Go" as Ahsan was taken away by police.

 So, when are the newspapers going to stop referring to Musharraf as a president, and start referring to him as a dictator?


United Against Musharraf.

As a way of protesting Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf's establishment of marial law in his country, I'm calling on webloggers and members of the media worldwide to stop referring to Pervez Musharraf as "President Musharraf" and to start referring to him as "Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf."

Why? Because a president does not have the power to "sack" a Supreme Court Justice, especially on the verge of a Supreme Court decision as to the legality of whether it is constitutional for that "president" to run for office in the first place.

If Musharraf wants to be a president, then he must submit to the rule of law and to the judgement of the Pakistani Supreme Court. 

Failing that, he's just a dictator. 

Sadly, he's also a U.S. ally, which is part of the reason why how he is perceived by the Western media matters so much. 

To further clarify the legality of this incident, Pakistan's Supreme Court has issued a statement, declaring that the Pakistani government must not take any actions that could lead towards the appointment of new Chief Justices or that could in other ways interfere with the independence of Pakistan's judiciary.

So, do we really want to bring democracy to the 32 million people of Afghanistan at the price of dictatorship for the 165 million Pakistanis? Is supporting dictatorships how we will win a war against terrorists? 

I encourage those who wish for real democracy for the people of Pakistan to both link to this post and to leave a comment where we can start to discuss ideas on how to act in a united way to oppose Pakistani martial law and the illegal dismissal of its Supreme Court Justice.

I also strongly encourage you to refer to Musharraf in the future as "Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf", and to encourage other bloggers and others in the media to do so consistantly, linking ideally linking the words "Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf" back to this post, until such time as we have established a better location to work together and organize opposition to his illegal, anti-democratic actions. 

Feel free to link to use (or even hotlink) to the picture of Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf as well. It conveys well the kind of illegitimate, antidemocratic arrogance that Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf has consistantly shown in thwarting the democratic aspirations of Pakistan.

What is important is that we have a consistant message opposed to this injustice, and that we encourage others to take a firm stand. We should do our best to let the 165 million Pakistanis now under martial law know that we stand behind them and their aspirations for a return to democracy in their country.