Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Musharraf’s Desperate Last Move

According to TV news channels Musharraf will declare a state of emergency in Pakistan in the early hours of 9 August.

The pretext for this move is supposedly the recent statements stemming from the US about unilaterally attacking Al Qaeda safe havens in the tribal belt neighbouring Afghanistan and the unrest caused by religious extremists within the country.

Most of us can see through this patent hogwash. If a decree of emergency is imposed in the country then it is all about protecting his beloved kursi. Facing an independent judiciary which is expected to make two critical rulings (one on the legality of a presidential re-election from the existing assemblies and the other relating to Nawaz Sharif's return to Pakistan) and a general public rebellion against his 8-year rule, the declaration of emergency was the only possible option left open to him. No one thought that he would be self-seeking enough to carry it through but obsession with power has few antidotes.

It is a tragic day for Pakistan.

Musharraf refuses to accept an end to his days in power and we all end up being the price for his obduracy.

Readers don’t’ get disheartened, spring is only just around the corner.Your Blogger is convinced Musharraf is doomed; he will very soon be shown the door.

It is Thursday morning and emergency has yet to be declared. All indications suggest that preparations have been made and the leaking of news of the planned declaration was deliberate and officially orchestrated.

So all we can do is sit and wait to see what happens next.

In the meanwhile it is worth noting that US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice telephoned Musharraf and had a "17-minute conversation that began shortly after 2 a.m. Thursday Pakistan time" (Associated Press).

My guess is that the US State Department will not be overly pleased with the route that Musharraf is currently contemplating, especially in view of the fact that recent US sabre-rattling is being used as one of the pretexts for the imposition of the emergency.



Anonymous said...

If this is whats going to happen, then Musharraf has signed on his own death warrant. He will take his legacy down with him.

Though I hope that he is sane enough to not go through with this.


Onlooker said...

This came in an hour after I blogged on reports of a declaration of emergency by Musharraf:

Pakistan: Musharraf Opts for Emergency Rule
August 08, 2007 19 12 GMT


The decision to impose emergency rule in Pakistan has been made and could be enforced as early as the night of Aug. 8. The decision is part of President Gen. Pervez Musharraf's attempts to avoid the hurdle of re-election and remain in power. Rather than help him, this move is likely to exacerbate the political situation in the country.


Pakistani media reported Aug. 8 that the government has finalized arrangements to impose emergency rule in the country, which will allow President Gen. Pervez Musharraf to postpone elections for up to a year.

Musharraf's inability to press ahead with his controversial re-election bid, an increasingly assertive judiciary, a growing Islamist militancy and the need to engage in negotiations with the opposition have forced the president to opt for this measure in order to maintain his hold on power -- as both president and military chief.

The emergency rule could allow Musharraf to prolong his hold on power, but it also will complicate an already complex domestic political situation. Musharraf chose to impose emergency rule because he is running out of time to hold an election. The president is likely buying time to work out a power-sharing arrangement with the opposition Pakistan People's Party. The best-case scenario is that Pakistan's political forces will accept the election delay; the worst-case scenario is that Musharraf will fall. Given the number of moving parts in the Pakistani political system, it is unlikely that he will be able to emerge from this process intact.

The decision to impose emergency rule could be challenged in Pakistan's Supreme Court, and the court could strike it down. This also could give militants in Pakistan an opportunity to carry out attacks.

Emergency rule is usually a very messy affair, and if the government engages in any major political crackdown and/or suspension of freedoms and other civil rights, it will trigger a substantial backlash, which could lead to Musharraf's downfall. The backlash could take the form of major protests, and when they happen, Pakistan's security forces might not be willing to open fire -- which is when Musharraf could be asked to step down.

Anonymous said...

Why is he afraid of elections? Everyone and her uncle wants a deal with him.

Anonymous said...

In fact Musharraf's anxious suiters are the envy of any leader in any democracy:

Bush administration

And this is the list of eager allies before the election. In multi-party democracies such as India, parties might not be as eager as this to ally themselves before the election.

This is a real puzzle, frankly.

AAS said...

Why don't we call emergency rule for what it really is? It is martial law.

Even though most seem to think Mush is on his way out...i have a sinking feeling this won't be the case. :)

Kashif said...

Totally agree that this is going to be mush's last move. He is so desparate to hang to power that he is taking the country to civil war.

However, there is still some hope left, in the form of Supereme Court and lawyer movement.