Pakistan: Media, Reactions and the Emergency

A guide to understanding the state of emergency in Pakistan, has now been posted courtesy of The Emergency Times, which gives us another interesting perspective:

Well, for starters, the entire constitution has been put in abeyance (read suspended). This is more synonymous to a martial law, which is not provided for in the Constitution and is in fact a serious violation of Article 6 of the Constitution which makes any person who “subverts or attempts or conspires to subvert the Constitution by use of force or show of force or by other unconstitutional means guilty of high treason”.

All things Pakistan, admits that the extremism and violence has gone out of hand while society is deeply divided with religion having been high-jacked and is now routinely used to incite violence, however none of this is a justification for a suspension of the Constitution and for the declaration of emergency;

all this is damning evidence of government failure .

Pakistan is now over 52 hours into the state of emergency that was declared late on Saturday night, and given a media blackout which is in-effect, GEO News has responded by making the audio stream of its transmissions available online. Although cell phone services and internet access are still up and running, some bloggers like Alien, fear that this may change tomorrow:

All international news channels and local cable news channels are down. Only PTV State News is on the air. So far we still have Internet access and mobile phones but this might change tomorrow as the reaction to the emergency hits full throttle.

On the subject of cell phone jamming, during the early hours of the emergency, some news agencies were reporting that mobile phones were being jammed and SMS services had been suspended, however given our experiences with disaster relief communications, we now know that despite heavy interferences to cell phone reception, text messaging does work and in the event that Pakistan's cell phone carriers start enforcing mobile jamming, this will not effect SMS services since it has proven to be ineffective in the past due to cheap devices having been implemented and the fact that most of these devices and systems been banned by the PTA (Pakistan Telecommunications Authority) earlier this year via an official telecoms regulation to various institutions that were asked to remove them in a deadline which ended on 30th Jan, 2007.

A SMS 2 Blog (and blog 2 SMS) informational service is now in the process of being set up to allow those who wish to report news and happenings on the ground at Help-Pakistan, details of which will be posted shortly.

It is a case of the Taliban versus Pakistan at Pakspectator where Ghazala blogs that ‘Pakistan is himself eroding his own country and Pakistan is himself attack his own people‘:

Why don't we talk with our people in Waziristan and Swat and elsewhere? Why bomb them out? People in Pakistan feel the same way, as they feel in Waziristan and Swat, and so they better get prepared to bomb the whole of Pakistan.

One of the bloggers who are worried about events that may happen after the announcement of Musharaff's mini martial law is Bilal who stresses that Pakistan is at the brink of a political meltdown, while Monday's trading on the Karachi Stock Exchange saw Pakistan's biggest one-day decline (via BBC News) as a result of the emergency with economists fearing the loss of long-term investments into the country spelling out the nation's financial meltdown.


  • chan

    The rule is simple Bin laden and mush both are creations of US. US under burkha of “war against terrorism” will go to any country and fight a war. reason is simple keep the US economy running by destabilizing the Asia and african region. Thats how it works!!! All wars fought by US are in other countries and not on US land. US may take a stand that MUSH is not capable of handling terrorism as he is supporting it and then for own “protection” and “saving the world” will drive US to open war with pakistan. Anywayz the US economy is in big soup… subprime of course and there is no other ways to revive it… so simple solution… war!!!!

  • […] parts of Islamabad is noisy with audible background interferences. As explained earlier in an update at Global Voices Online earlier this morning, due to the fact that cheap devices have been […]

  • kactuz

    Yes, Chan, it is always the US’s fault. Never, ever, blame anything on the people do these things because they are always inocent. Tyrants kill and oppress, the people let them do it, their holy writings support it, but blame everything on the US. That keeps it simple and you don’t have to think. Oh yes, the sub-prime mess is also a product of the “war on terror” — or is just another way to “keep the economy going”?

    Do you remember the index of “failed states”? Do you have a clue why Pakaistan is at the top?


  • Zofia

    i agree with chan and Kactus that pakistan is under the threat of an attack by US. i would also like to say that whatever musharraf is doing is somewhat correct. if pakistan had not agreed to America’s policies then we might have ended just like Iraq and afghanistan. although we are eventually going to be in a state of war soon but mush has just delayed the attack.

    as for the media being blocked!!! well, GEO tv was actually building up a negative image of pakistan and had affected the mind of people by showing them sensationalized news. it felt as if pakistan was about to be finished…. i don’t think that’s the case yet….

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