Friday, August 10, 2007

Views from Pakistan’s press

Here are some excerpts from today’s Pakistani newspapers that were compiled by the BBC South Asia website.


Papers in Pakistan express relief at official denials that the government is planning to impose a state of emergency.
Most are suspicious of the motives that could have prompted President Pervez Musharraf to consider such a move, with one paper saying it would have been "a recipe for disaster"

The Nation
Better sense prevailed... [A state of emergency] would not only have met with resistance but also proved to be a recipe for disaster.

The News
Even a lay observer can tell that the real motive behind imposing the emergency would be to give the president some breathing space and to fend off any legal challenge to his plans for re-electing himself... The decision to impose an emergency in the country cannot be justified on any ground - moral, legal or constitutional - and would only serve to destabilise the country.

Daily Times
The timing of the move is wrong... It suggests that Gen Musharraf is putting his own mundane personal interest above the national interest... The way out is not an emergency but free and fair general elections that return the mandate to the people to whom it belongs.

The threats facing the nation are grave, and only a government armed with a mandate from the people - a mandate secured through a fair and free election - can stem the tide of extremism and meet the threats to Pakistan's sovereignty.

It is a good thing that the country remains safe from the curse of emergency rule. One positive aspect of this is that the country will also be spared a new confrontation between the government and the judiciary and its possible repercussions. This will also pave the way for the restoration of democracy.

If the president imposes a state of emergency in the country, the political confrontation will intensify... President Musharraf needs to avoid taking such a decision, or his image both inside the country and abroad will be damaged.

If there is any need to impose emergency rule for some particular purpose, it should be confined to those reasons so that the process of stabilising democratic institutions... is not impeded.

The imposition of a state of emergency would prove to be a final blunder on the part of the government... It is better for the government to take the nation into its confidence through parliament before going ahead with any such step. If it exacerbates the situation even further, the government itself will be the main loser.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

just add to this The Frontier Post's latest press galley of Aug 11.

Saeed Minhas: Judiciary continues to eclipse Gen. Musharraf and his thoughts, as ruling elite continue to express complete confusion in their build up to the president’s re-election scheduled to be held between September 15 and October 15.
The disenchantment of the ruling party members was quite visible in the National Assembly as parliamentary minister Dr. Sher Afghan had to seek the intervention of the House Speaker to postpone the voting on proposed legislation because of government would not have afforded a defeat in the House on the basis of its absent majority.
Though Prime Minister Shoukat Aziz would have been least bothered about this, but president seems to have still some loyalists left in the ruling party who saved his face. But how long President would be able to continue his run with this scant support around him is a question which Q-leaguers are posing to one another in private.
With the infighting within Q league at its peak, deal with PPP is still an on-off thing and despite assurances of Saudis, Sharifs have approached the Supreme Court for ensuring their return, President must be finding himself marooned amidst his khaki and foreign friends. As our mole confirms and we had mentioned it before that the dilemma for the president is not what to do but how to do it and how to tame the unleashed power of judiciary.
He is assured full support by his satellite friends but they too are groping for a way to bail him out of this political quagmire. President, as his confidants reveal is willing to just move forward and end the game with one announcement but then his hands and thoughts have to be ratified by the satellite signals.
Our sources confirmed that President was not happy with some high ups including Shoukat Aziz but just do not want to stir up another issue at this moment by removing them from the top slots and appointing his own trusted men. Similarly, he is aware of the fact that not only Chaudharies of Punjab but many bureaucrats and politicians are in the process of moving their monies abroad to secure their future, but is not doing anything because his own family has bought a house in New Jersey to ensure that if situations take an awkward turn, they have some place on the earth to call it a home.
Perhaps it was the nature of the present day politics that everything is happening behind the closed-doors which kept the ruling coalition partners away from the House proceedings, but more important to know is that whether any of these meetings are held to secure president another term or to ensure his safe exit. Our information based on various moles reveals that all these meetings are not for the president but the main agenda of most of these meetings seems to be survival. On the face of it everyone is expressing complete allegiance to the King in the barracks but inside the closed doors every one is questioning that how to translate undeniable support of Americans into continuity of the same dichotomized system.
One of top mole whispered that despite the entire political circus, viz-kids of the Khaki agencies, being in-charge of the intelligence world these days have assured the President that everyone is under their watchful eyes and scanned. According to their assessment, simple majority to ensure another term for the president is not a matter of concern at all, what is concerning is that many of the so-called die-hards have started showing their true colours and are in contact with the all the future players assuming that President’s days are over. And the main cause of this colour-changing cited by these Khaki boys is none other than judicial activism. Whether judicial activism opens another political front for the president is something we will have to watch for in the start of September but many of the cabinet members are sure to loose their flags and colours when they will be asked to refute their tapped conversations and parleys once the president is out of troubled waters.
Regardless of all these exercises, all the paths are filled with lots of ifs and butts for the President and he is just fixed on one point and that is judiciary. Will he be able to maneuver this hurdle or will he go for his ultimate trump card is what everybody fears these days. In the words of Maulana Diesel, “we have to give him a safe exit; otherwise things might turn soar for everyone.”