Pakistan roundup

It's been only 24 hours since President and General Musharraf declared a state of emergency in Pakistan, which amounts to martial law. The Islamosphere has responded admirably to the constitutional crisis. Here's a brief roundup.

First, the video of Musharraf's televised address to Pakistan is available online:

Chapati Mystery has transcribed the full text of Musharraf's remarks, for both the Urdu and English portions. Sepoy notes that the official printed transcript differs a bit from what was actually said. He also notes that there are a number of surprising things in the speech, including a total absence of mention of India.

Sepoy also blogged the Provisional Constitutional Order when it was first announced, as part of his ongoing Tick Tock series about Pakistani democracy. His summary analysis was rather bleak:

Next up? Martial Law. More bombings. And the eventual drain of all that capital that had accumulated in the country in the past 8 years. Zimbabwe, here we come. Unless, US and China can come to their senses and do some actual diplomacy. The status is bleak. Let us say that Musharraf resigns and leaves. The Supreme Court declares an election date, the new government solves the Baluchistan issue, the US redeploys significant troops to Afghanistan (and keeps them there), the Pakistani military combats within cities and mountains of Pakistan. War. Chaos. Uncertainty. And this, my gentle readers, would be the best case scenario. A more likely option is a military state somewhere between Mugabe’s Zimbabwe circa 2005 and Gandhi’s India circa 1976. I must be proven wrong.

Start here for the first post in his Tick Tock series.

PKpolitics has been updating extensively, in real time. They are probably the best source for the latest news. Zack of Procrastination blog also chimes in. He's equally cynical, and notes that he also has been suspicious of Musharraf from the start, casting a parallel between Musharraf and Zia ul Haq:

On October 12, 1999, I told everyone who would listen that Musharraf was not taking over for the sake of Pakistan or for saving the country from the corrupt politicians like Nawaz Sharif or Benazir Bhutto. He did not act when the country was in peril, but when his own position as Army Chief was threatened. I have always considered him a power-hungry army general in the mold of General Ziaul Haq.

Ziaul Haq sowed the seeds of Pakistan’s current troubles with his Islamization and jihadi policies and today Musharraf is reaping its rewards and acting like Zia II. Having grown up in Zia’s Pakistan and now watching Musharraf’s Pakistan from afar, both these generals look to be the worst nightmare for Pakistan.

Sepia Mutiny offers a roundup of their own. In addition to summarizing the most important events, they link to detailed legal analysis by Anil at Dorfblog, a pocket guide to surviving martial law by Manish at Ultrabrown, and an interview with Lawyer Aitezaz Ahsan, while under arrest, speaking furtively from the police station toilet.

Finally, Ali Eteraz already has launched a new website devoted to Pakistani Politics (PakistanPolitics.net) and written a piece at the Guardian about the PCO. In a nutshell, he advises to take Musharraf at his word, with the litmus test being the January elections. He also notes,

Disengaged western audiences, pumped full of the current pro-democracy intoxicants, will almost universally decry Musharraf's behaviour. I decry it too, precisely because I am a disengaged westerner and I have that luxury. However, the story in Pakistan is not so straightforward.

For that matter, I have to agree. The Supremem Court of Pakistan has been playing politics with as much vigour as Musharraf has - Musharraf's charge of judicial activism by the Supreme Court, including releasing confirmed terrorists and reopening extremist madrasahs, has substantial merit. Musharraf's argument that democracy is Pakistan is young also bears repeating, in is English remarks addressed to the West:

I request you all to bear with us. To the critics and idealists against this action, I say please do not accept or demand your level of democracy which you learned over a number of centuries. We are also trying to learn, and we are doing well. Please give us time. Please also do not demand and expect your level of civil rights, human rights, civil liberties which you learned over the centuries. We are trying to learn. And we are doing well also. Please give us time.

Well, we can give him until January.

And I'd like to reiterate that there's no better way to promote these excellent posts or blogs than by nominating them for a Brass Crescent Award.


Manish said...

Great roundup, and thanks for the link. Btw it is broken-- here's the correct link:


Aziz Poonawalla said...

ooooops :(

fixed *blush*

USpace said...

A nasty and flammable situation indeed...

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
let extremists rule

they will drag your country
back to seventh century

absurd thought -
God of the Universe wants
all citizens beheaded

for most petty offenses
let society collapse

absurd thought -
God of the Universe thinks
take all girls out of school

they can not be allowed
to achieve more than a man