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Pakistan: Stability, Activism and the Emergency

As the reality of the emergency sets in, reactions from bloggers explore the idea of democracy and stability in the country, looking at the consequences of the current political situation. Metroblogging Lahore points to the ups and downs in the biggest stock exchange in Karachi, and that a similar trend could be seen at the Lahore Stock Exchange.

Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE 100) nose-dived on the first trading day under Emergency rule this Monday while registering a record fall of 635 points. However, the market regained some ground on Tuesday by jumping up 146.87 points to close at 13,426.1

The blog also provides a running update on a student protest at Lahore.

iFaqeer has a different take on the situation, a perspective that underlines that people are probably not going to be passive participants in the political situation.

As Adil says, people see a picture and all they feel is shame for the 5 policemen beating up a lawyer; I feel nothing but pride, for I see one Pakistani putting his self on the line for his principle. People see a media blackout; I see journalists that a dictator has no choice but to ban.

A thought and comment provoking discussion at Sepia Mutiny as Abhi writes

To be clear, I do not condone the jailing of lawyers and judges but Pakistan is not ready for the type of democracy they currently protest in favor of. There is not one shred of proof pointing to a better outcome if elections were to take place, nor a single candidate that one could point to as a competent successor to Musharraf, one likely to provide stability in Pakistan and by extension in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Amardeep, another blogger at Sepia Mutiny argues against this point of view.

My point is this: elections are necessary for democracy to occur, but they aren’t sufficient for democracy to sustain itself. What Musharraf should have done, if he really cared about transitioning to democracy, was, first of all, let the Supreme Court rule on whether the recent Presidential election was valid. Secondly, he needed to give up his uniform (though admittedly, that should probably have happened first). Thirdly, Parliamentary elections.

Law and Other Things, an Indian blog reflects on judicial activism given the turn of events in Pakistan. Indian Muslims comments on Pakistan having been taken to the past again, and how Musharraf seems to have no support from any side.

Gradually Musharraf has found himself losing his grip. Tribesmen accuse him of killing his own people and have adapted suicide bombings, a deadly new import to Pakistan. The secular Pakistanis chafing under dictatorship accuse him of failing to protect Pakistan from the growing reactionary extremism within Pakistan.

Activism seems to be in the air. Chapati Mystery links to a document –

From students and activists in Pakistan comes The Emergency Telegraph [pdf link] – the first issue of a comprehensive booklet that hopes to fill in the vacuum created by the media blackout in Pakistan”. It includes a short note from Asma Jahangir as well other links, eye-witness reports etc.

7 comments

  • President Musharraf is smart, vengeful, Loyal to his
    Army, to a fault & ‘believes’ in his destiny to
    ‘Lead’ Pakistan & it’s People! He has more than once proved that he is willing to die for his country!

  • Z. abowath

    The peoples of Pakistan are concern when the country is destabilize due to foreign intervention. We are independent nation and want to run our state as sovereign state. I do not understand why our politician and army and beauraucrats looks at foreign forces to bring in change in country rather than look at the peoples and bring in understanding with them to bring peace, harmony and development in the country. I wish we should get real Pakistani leader who live with the peoples simple and true muslim.

  • Muhammad Murtaza

    Martial Law and so-called Emergency must be lifted in Pakistan. Constitution must be restored and Supreme Court judges must be reinstated with full honours. All arrested lawyers, human rights activists, politicians and political workers etc must be released forthwith and compensated. General Musharaf must go.

  • Lt. Col. Shri Khasgiwale

    The pressure on Gen Musharraf is something similar to the pressure faced by late Indira Gandhi when she was facing the Navnirman movement launched by late Jai Prakash Narayan. He had given a call for the students and the opposition to unite and oppose Indira Gandhi. He had also asked the police and the defense forces to accept only the legally valid orders from their superiors. Although the response from the forces was not very strong, she was jolted. The last jolt certainly was the verdict of the Allahabad High Court which blamed her in the case filed by Mr. Raj Naraian.
    Now similarly the juduciary, opposition and a large section of the Pak intellgentia are opposing his holding two appointments and support to the Taliban and hardcore religious fanatism which is now boomranging on him.
    This certainly appears to be the last days of the Gen. but who next is the big question. As there is no practical answer to this this could be the only lifesaver for the Gen.

  • Zalan

    Let me tell the commentators here that it’s really different seeing from outside and seeing from within. Just look what this dictator has achieved/done against terrorism and extermism in these last 6 years after 9/11 and one comes to the only logical conclusion that terrorism and extermism has increased, increased to point no one would have imagened.

    Remember that dicatorship needs extremism and extremism needs dictatorship, the dictator needs extremism to justify it’s illegitimate rule and to tell the west (which seems to have schezophenic about extremism, though we all should worry about it, but be logical as well) that look these people are rising if i won’t be there and if u won’t support me they will get everything in thier hands and god forbid will do the unimaginable, whereas the extremist needs dictator cause they can never prosper in democracy when the government has direct links with the people, and if u want a proof just look at the history of this country, these extremist never prosper in the history of this country as they did in the time of General Zia and now under this dictator.

    The religious parties in the history of the country never secured more then 5% of the vote in general elections ever, in 1997 general elections they secured only 1 seat in the 100 members assembly of Frontier province, unless in 2002 elections under the kind hand of this dictator they got the blessings to form a government. And remember this is the province which is represented as the most conservative, but one finds the reality when u visit Frontier province that these hardcore elements, the fanatic-extremists hardly forms 3-5% of the population of that province and are obiously funded and supported from outside, and the wast majority of the provice are libral and even secular.

    This is a fact that he is a disqualified person clinging to extra constitutional measures to preserve his illegitimate rule. He cares for none and for nothing but just himself. If he remains there believe me the world community will find nothing but extremism on the rise whereas if there is a truely elected government the world will be able to see how the grip is tightened around these fanatic extremist and how are they brought to justice. They can only be defeated with people’s power not with a dictator’s power which is solely directed towards it’s own people, he can only think of one thing which how to control the rising tide of people/ the civil society and not about the extremism.

  • Farooq Naeem

    These are sure the last days of the general who is a symbol of hate in Pakistan now. But it seems that Americans would like another general to bring as the president. I cant understand how a nation like US can be full of idiots. They are repeating the story of Iran. Same story without missing a minor scene. Americsn should stop interfering otherwise the wouldnt be able to cope with the backlash. We love our army and we respect US but it seems people in Pakistan are becoming fed up with both. All they want is democracy, independent judiciary and a reasonable future for their children.

  • Michael SMITH

    The only solution for “Isalamic Republic of Pakistan” is General Musharraf. He seems to be better and more competent than all his predecessors, including generals, Corrupt leaders and terrorists. Please, please keep him going for the sake of Pakistan and rest of the world.

    Pakistan exists only because of its Army and Only because of its hatred. The only vaiable soultion of some kind of governance is the General – and better Musharraf then zia-type of evil.

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