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Pakistani Dictator Uses "Terrorism" Excuse To Hang On To Power


Pakistani dictator, and strong Bush ally, General Pervez Musharraf has suspended the constitution of Pakistan, curbed media reporting, arrested political opposition leaders and replaced the head of Supreme Court in his attempt to hang on to power in Pakistan and avoid any court decision that would certainly have forced him to step down as a result of elections in that state. Claiming "terrorism" fears as an excuse, Dictator Musharraf's actions are far in excess to any real current threats in that nation, although opposition to his leadership is extensive in the country and probably only growing stronger.

Neighbors of Pakistan such as China and India no doubt hope for stability and a quick return to order as soon as possible. But larger world community concerns remain that the political problems that Musharraf has created could lead to a nationwide rebellion and even give elements supportive of the Taliban control in Pakistan. It is thought that many with pro-Taliban sympathy are currently in the Musharraf regime government. And with a growing force of nuclear weapons, world community fears are that these weapons could eventually end up in the wrong hands.

On one hand, both Bush and Musharraf are very similar in that both have overblown the terrorism issue to hang on to power when facing election concerns. And civil liberties in both nations have directly suffered as a result of the terrorism issue being overblown to impose undue restrictions on liberty and privacy rights of citizens. But both strong-armed rulers have also created a large portion of their opposition as a direct result of their power grabbing politics as well, and actually worsened their political position in their own respective states.

In Pakistan, the political crackdown and state of emergency in the absence of any real threat only could help to alienate the public and only serve the recruitment goals of radicals or even terrorist elements.

Musharraf may have hoped to avoid losing power in the elections set for January. But Musharraf has only helped to put his nation in shaky condition and raise new world concerns as nuclear weapons proliferate to more and more irresponsible states such as Pakistan, North Korea or possibly Iran.

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Rating: 3.7/5 (9 votes cast)

Comments (4)

Steve Crickmore[TypeKey Profile Page]:

It is no doubt that General Musharraf has one of the most difficult jobs in the world, but to say that "I had to take this action in order to preserve the democratic transition which I initiated 8 years back" when he launched his military coup' and sacked the Pakistani prime minister is pretty rich.

epador[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Maybe there's a mullah in France who could come back and set that country "back on track?"

Steve Crickmore[TypeKey Profile Page]:

It looks like not only did General Musharraf think he would lose the upcoming parliamentary elections in January, but he wouldn't have been able to lead the nation into them, if the Supreme Court had been able deliver its decision.

His decision to suspend the Constitution and fire the Supreme Court was taken days before the court was due to decide whether his re-election on Oct. 6 was valid. A close aide to General Musharraf said the Pakistani leader had decided to declare an emergency when he was told last week by a Supreme Court justice that the court would rule within days that he was ineligible to continue serving as president. The ruling would have been unanimous, according to the aide.

After all, he is General who was installed in a coup..Rice was always naively going on democractic signs in Pakistan and in General Musharraf as if would still be in power if there were full and free elections.

"about the importance of those elections being free and fair as a foundation for a more democratic Pakistan, I think, is very clear."

Speaking to reporters in Islamabad, Pakistan, June 15, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Richard Boucher said, "It's time for Pakistan to move back to democratic elections and civilian rule," and the United States, he said, is happy to work with President Pervez Musharraf to achieve that goal.

I wonder if the administration will now tone down its rhetoric leading to a confrontration with Iran and start focusing on Pakistan and Afghanistan again, where it should have been?

Steve Crickmore[TypeKey Profile Page]:

As a footnote, it is hard to know what the Pakistani public really think about their situation, but this polling site may help... No wonder Bush may feel a kind of kindred spirit to 'Mush', his approval rating has tanked to 20% (the General's)


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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