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State of Emergency in Pakistan

Categories: South Asia, Pakistan, Breaking News, Freedom of Speech, Law, Media & Journalism, Politics

Earlier today President Musharaff of Pakistan declared a state of emergency and bloggers have been busy trying to get a handle of the latest political developments in Pakistan. Benazir Bhutto, who left for Dubai is reportedly back in Pakistan. President Musharraf is expected to address the nation sometime soon. (It is 11.44 pm on Saturday at the time of writing this post.)

Manan Ahmed of Informed Comment, Global Affairs [1] writes:

The move is hardly surprising considering the chaos engulfing Pakistan at the moment – from political (Supreme Court deliberations on the fate of the “election”) to military (the tribal/militant conflict has spread to Swat and Peshawar) to ideological (Baluchistan) to international (Rice has decided she wants democracy).

According to the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) declaring emergency [2], the steps were taken because of the recent terrorist attacks, the release of terror-suspects by the judiciary, the lack of oversight of the judiciary and the low morale of police and army in the nation. See the text here [3] [pdf].

Free Pakistan blogspot [4] has video clips about the current situation in Pakistan and here is a link about the army's invasion of Pakistan's supreme court [4].

Metroblogging Karachi [5] has an account of how and when emergency was declared in Pakistan.

After binary-zero's [6] instant reporting on private TV channels being taken off-air around the country [7] amid speculations of emergency rule in the country, the rumour has been confirmed as true.

Even, the state media including Pakistan Television Network (PTV) has confirmed the news and has announced that General Musharraf will be adressing the nation sometime tonight.

Media and judiciary have been the first targets under emergency-rule as almost all major private channels still remain off-air and according to one TV channel, the army has entered the Supreme Court building.