Saturday, November 3, 2007

Pakistan Update

Musharraf's Emergency

The general, dressed in civilian clothes, quoted from Abraham Lincoln, citing the former president’s suspension of some rights during the American Civil War as justification for his own state of emergency.

He accused the country’s Supreme Court of releasing 61 men who he said were under investigation for terrorist activities. “Judicial activism,” he said, had demoralized the security forces, hurt the fight against terrorism and slowed the spread of democracy. “Obstacles are being created in the way of democratic process,” he said, “I think for vested, personal interests, against the interest of the country.

-Musharraf Declares Emergency Rule

Officials See Few Options for U.S.;
Walter Russell Mead, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, said the current situation could easily plunge Pakistan into chaos, leading to an increase in violence by Islamic fundamentalists or provoking demonstrations by opposition political parties.

“You could have chaos in the street, or a situation where it would be suicidal for Bhutto to try to participate in the process,” he said, adding, “Either of those scenarios puts the U.S. in a very difficult position.”

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