With the much publicised self-seeking manoeuvrings of politicians, like Benazir Bhutto and Mullah Fazalur Rehman, their threat factor to Musharraf is considerably less than those offered to him by the media and, to a somewhat lesser extent, the lawyer community.
The media in the shape of TV news channels has on a daily basis continuously exposed the regime’s unlawful sins and omissions, as it plots and schemes to ensure Musharraf’s ‘re-election’ on 6 October.
It is these wide daily disclosures that have unswervingly led to the increasing unpopularity of the regime. Currently with the Supreme Court being percieved as 'behaving' itself, free dissemination of information is now being regarded in Islamabad as the biggest menace of all. It is widely believed that the violent thrashing of journalists outside the Islamabad office of the Electoral Commission was a deliberate message to the Fourth Estate that all levels of tolerance have ceased.
Rumours are now rife of an imminent crackdown on press freedom by use of a PEMRA legislation or ordinance that includes a law which will render the office of the president to be ‘above and beyond public comment’.
In this age of satellite TV, the internet and mobile phones censorship is extremely difficult to enforce. Nevertheless one should be prepared for a period of draconian measures as the dictatorship heads towards its well-earned twilight.