Saturday, November 03, 2007

Emerging News Of Emergency Rule vs. Emergent Democracy

What an absolutely, and unfortunately predictable, shameful day for the country of my birth, Pakistan. The Bush and US-supported dictator, 'President' Pervez Musharaff imposed emergency rule in Pakistan a short while ago. He is forcing out the Pakistani Supreme Court judges, and arresting nation's top lawyers and even media people. So much for our American mission to promote democracy in the Islamic and Muslim World.

It is said that the American government (which has kept him in power, supported his actions, and even shamelessly brokered a deal between a lazy dictator and a crooked ex-Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto) told him not to do so. Condoleeza Rice was said to be upset or mad (CondiMental?) at him doing this. BUT, knowing her and her Boss, who believe in hypocricy at the highest level, I am sure they will find an excuse to "understand" Busharaff's decision.

All that will provide is good material to Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart on Comedy Central to make more fun of Bush and Company. But, the real laughing stock right now is Pakistan and its (lack of) history of democracy. The only positive thing is that so far the Supreme Court had started showing some courage, some 'balls', by standing up to the dictator - which was not usually the case. The Supreme Court of Pakistan always folded with less noise than a deflated accordion. This court (or at least 6 of 11 judges) seem to have shown more courage and character than the last 10 Supreme Courts put together.

The media is also a target. While it is said that in the past newspaper chains like Jang always became friends with whoever is in power, I know from having worked there 22 years ago that the bigger a newspaper gets in Pakistan, the easier it is to shut down by withholding newsprint for them to publish on.

But, even in General Zia's time, newspapers that I do not have personal relationships with, especially Jang's main competition, Nawai Waqt always showed more courage, and stood on princple. Today's Jang Group has been more bold, having been on the wrong side of Nawaz Sharif, the evil MQM, Musharaff and others at one time or another. Their GEO TV channel, as well as many other channels, have also been bold critics of Musharaff.

Now, as this dictator for life (or until Pakistan loses another C130 with him in it) has shown, such media can easily be shut down. So, the choice for action, my fellow Pakistanis, will eventually come land squarely at the feet of the nation. The people are the ones who have to stand up and say, enough is enough. Will Pakistanis rise to the challenge and rise up IN challenge to dictatorship?

We can only hope, and pray.
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