Saturday, November 03, 2007

Musharraf speaks...

Details of Musharraf's address to the Pakistan nation are starting to dribble in. His address was pre-recorded.)

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf said early on Sunday he imposed emergency rule to help complete the transition from military to civilian-led democracy, and appealed to the international community to be understanding.

Musharraf, whose emergency rule proclamation on Saturday cited rising militancy and a hostile judiciary, said Pakistan needed time to reach the level of democracy enjoyed by the West.

"Please do not expect or demand your level of democracy which you learned over a number of centuries. Please give us time," he said in a pre-recorded televised address.

I, am ready to give him the benefit of the doubt. For now. If we start seeing Sharia law in the's over.

2:30 pm update: More from Reuters.

"I fear that if timely action is not taken, then God forbid there is a threat to Pakistan's sovereignty. I cannot allow this country to commit suicide."

3:00 pm update: It looks like the text of Musharraf's address can be found here.

Pakistan has to take some important but painful decision otherwise the solidarity of the country will be endangered. I have made the decisions under the principle of Pakistan First. Pakistan comes first, is my guiding rule and it is above all personal gains.

3:39 update: Musharraf breaks into English to specifically address US, EU, Commonwealth etc. Cites Abraham Lincoln.

The bulk of the president's address was in Urdu, but he switched to English toward the end to make an appeal to Pakistan's "friends in the West--the U.S., the European Union and the Commonwealth." Musharraf asked for understanding of the "critical situation" the nation was in.
"Please do not expect or demand your level of democracy, which you learned over a number of centuries. Please also do not demand or expect your number of civil rights, human rights or civil liberties … Please give us time. For me and every Pakistani, Pakistan comes first," Musharraf said, comparing his actions with those of former U.S. president Abraham Lincoln to preserve the union.