Insomnia (insomnia) wrote,

Musharraf the thug.

So, I hear that Pakistan's president Musharraf was given the go-ahead by their cronified supreme court to run for president again... nevermind the fact that there is a law against any military leader running for office within a set period of time from resigning his position / leaving the military.

Lots of Pakistanis are very angry, obviously...  there have been several major protests, and riot police have teargassed and batoned hundreds if not thousands, arresting and assaulting several members of the press. Several radio and TV stations have been forced by the military to stop their coverage of what is going on. This weblog claims that there is now a television blackout in Islamabad.

There is very little western media reporting with images, but I've tracked down a few over at the Arab version of Al Jazeera:

It might surprise some of my fellow Americans to note that your tax dollars helped train the Pakistani police, through the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL). How much money? About $38 million a year, as of 2004... a VERY big chunk of the INL's worldwide budget. Your taxes at work?!

I decided to take a look into the world of Pakistani blogs... only to find an awful lot of dead air. Turns out that Pakistan blocked blogspot months ago, but if any of you

I read a discouraging post from one Pakistani blogger who was inadvertently Scroogled... apparently, Google forced people to migrate over to the "new Blogger" with a new authentication requirement a few months ago, but since that domain was blocked by Pakistan, many Pakistani Blogger users have been silenced, leaving their accounts to rot. A search of LiveJournal blogs listed as being from Pakistan is equally discouraging, with very little activity from actual Pakistanis, and no recent entries that mention what is going on.

To me, the way things are evolving in Pakistan seems partucularly disturbing, as there is an alliance of strange bedfellows going on. Lawyers and educated students, allying with fundamentalists. Admittedly, the great majority of the Pakistani people are on the sidelines right now, but there are some similarities between this current situation and the fall of the Shah of Iran. Hopefully, Musharraf will come to his senses, step down, and let the reformers get their way, because if he doesn't, he'll risk marginalizing the reformers and empowering the fundamentalists.

Not a pretty state of affairs. Is it any wonder that the Pentagon is urgently assessing the security of Pakistan's nukes, in case Musharraf is overthrown. Feeling safe yet?! 

Gone for the weekend, but if any of you find out anything interesting, please post it to the comments. This is just the beginning of what might be a major constitutional crisis, which risks undermining not just a pro-US government, but the entire Global War on Terror. I suspect that this story isn't going away unless Musharraf does first.


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