Saturday, November 03, 2007

Musharraf's Mini-martial law...

A thought provoking analysis by Ali Eteraz from The Guardian of all places.

Some interesting snippets about the size of the constitutional crisis:

....Musharraf's PCO only dissolves the judiciary (for overstepping its limits and interfering with the war on terror) while leaving the Assembly intact. It also says nothing about fundamental rights. The limited scope of the PCO means the current situation is something less than martial law. Yet it cannot rightly be called an emergency either, because that does not involve a PCO. This in-between situation is being called "emergency plus".

Musharraf's act comes at a time when Pakistan has almost 100,000 troops in the Waziristan region, battling the Taliban. Meanwhile, the country is being hit by almost daily suicide bombings (since July, more than 450 people have been killed by terrorists). Islamist militants recently ambushed and held 250 solders hostage, and another 48 soldiers were paraded as a trophy by a Taliban commander. Throughout this time, Musharraf has rejected US Centcom's offer to send American troops, arguing that Pakistan's army can handle its own internal situation.

He has this to say about Condi and the Americans.

Earlier, US secretary of state Condoleeza Rice had told Musharraf that the US would not accept martial law, and had sent a top Pentagon general to Pakistan. However, her pro-democracy rhetoric is considered by most Pakistani commentators to be merely that. People are well aware that Pakistan, which is now the third highest recipient of US aid (after Iraq and Israel), could not get away with the emergency if the US truly did not wish to see it happen. Ultimately, the US will do its best to sound like a magnanimous defender of democracy while being perfectly aware that there are not any better options for it. In other words, do not expect sudden talk about regime change coming out of Washington.

And I found this to be quite apt:

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.

Read it all here.