Monday, November 05, 2007

Pakistan Attempts to Crush Protests by Lawyers - Will Bush and Cheney Get Ideas from This?

Based on the New York Times story ( the Chimperator's buddy, Pakistani president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, is sure showing an interesting example of building democracy - one of Chimpy's supposed goals for the Middle East. Or perhaps Musharraf's version of democracy is what Bush/Cheney would in their hearts like to implement in this country in lieu of the system envisioned by the U. S. Constitution as drafted by the founding fathers. It is obvious that Bush thinks he himself is above the rule of law. Here are some highlights:

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Nov. 5 — Angry protests by thousands of lawyers in Lahore and other cities Monday demonstrated the first organized resistance to the emergency rule imposed by the Pakistani president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf. But the abrupt arrest of many of them threatened to weaken their challenge.
The real test of whether the opposition to General Musharraf will prevail appears to be several days off: The leader of the biggest opposition political party, Benazir Bhutto, has pledged to lead a major protest rally Friday in Rawalpindi, the garrison city adjacent to Islamabad, the capital.

The strength of the crackdown by baton-wielding police officers who pummeled lawyers and then hauled them by the legs and arms into police wagons in Lahore showed the resolve of the Musharraf government to silence its fiercest opponents. At one point, lawyers and police clashed in a pitched battle, with lawyers standing on the roof of the High Court throwing stones at the police below, and the police hurling them back. Some of the lawyers were bleeding from the head, and some passed out in the clouds of tear gas. How long the lawyers could keep up their revolt without the support of opposition political parties, which so far have been lying low, remained in question.

General Musharraf said in his emergency edict that he was taking the action as chief of the Pakistani army, not as president, a fact that made his move akin to martial law, said Daniel Markey, senior fellow for India, Pakistan and South Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington. But General Musharraf stopped short of taking some steps that are characteristic of martial law, like shutting down Parliament and disbanding the executive government, he said. The main points of General Musharraf’s emergency order were the suspension of the Constitution, the dissolution of the Supreme Court and the provincial High Courts and the silencing of privately owned television news channels.
In fact many of the steps General Musharraf has taken since his emergency decree Saturday amounted to a kind of pre-emptive strike against the lawyers. He fired the entire Supreme Court. Many of its 17 judges, including Mr. Chaudhry, have been sidelined and are under house arrest. Judges in the four provincial High Courts were also fired.
A Supreme Court justice, Rana Bhagwandas, who is also under house arrest, said in a telephone interview that the United States should press for the restoration of democracy in Pakistan. “The United States is a democratic government and democratic governments should work for democratic values across the globe,” Mr. Bhagwandas said. “Pakistan is no exception.”
To shore up the imposition of the emergency rule, the government appeared to be bypassing the regular police channels and instead sending orders for arrests through regional, politically appointed mayors, said Syed Fakhir Imam, a former speaker of the National Assembly.

Hmm, will Bush and Cheney rely on Blackwater and private "contractors" of the same ilk if and when they make a move to impose a Musharraf like democracy here? One has to wonder at times. Emperor Palpatine Cheney is crazy enough to want to try something that nuts and Chimpy would be putty in his hands.

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