The emperor has been naked for a while now, it’s just that his most recent “act of desperation”:http://www.dawn.com/2007/03/10/top1.htm finally made it crystal clear.
I had written this about Musharraf “back in 2003”:http://ko.offroadpakistan.com/pakistan/2003_08/musharraf_self_styled_saviour_stuck_in_a_rut.html:
bq. …This is not an obituary, but I fear that the time is near for the end of a benign dictatorship and we will soon be writing about the birth of yet another tin horn dictator.
The “book”:http://ko.offroadpakistan.com/pakistan/2006_11/pervez_musharraf_in_the_line_of_fire.html was another nail in the coffin of democracy, which has now been sealed and buried deep underground.
The chattering classes are more worked about Musharraf sacking the Chief Justice than any single other thing he has done. He had a legitimate reason for throwing out the previous government – Nawaz Sharif remains one of the most despicable characters in Pakistan’s sordid history so most applauded Musharraf for kicking Nawaz out.
Even a chimpanzee would have done a better job of running a country than Benazir or Nawaz, so in comparison to them even a military dictatorship was so much better that Musharraf acquired a lot of good will. Even fake referendums and a fake parliament stuffed with corrupt politicians wanted for murder to money laundering to corruption wasn’t enough to tarnish Musharraf’s halo.
For many, the halo is completely gone now, and from underneath it emerges yet another mentally challenged strong man. We now view all government statements in the same way the western press would look at the “Iraqi information ministers statements on the Iraq war”:http://www.welovetheiraqiinformationminister.com/.
It is always sad to see grown men constantly lying through their teeth. Besides being a chilling reminder of Orwell’s 1984 where up is down and down is up, it’s potent reminder of the new lows Musharraf is going to. The Iraqi information minister could have advised Musharraf that _”Even those who live on another planet, if there are such people, would have condemned this action before it started”._
It is interesting to note that in the hundreds of tv shows already aired, the “thousands of articles in newspapers around the world”:http://news.google.com/news?q=Iftikhar+Muhammad+Chaudhry&hl=en&pwst=1&um=1&sa=X&oi=news&ct=title about this, and “numerous blog posts”:http://blogsearch.google.com/blogsearch?q=Iftikhar%20Muhammad%20Chaudhry&hl=en, there is not a single one supporting Musharraf. The charges against the Chief Justice aren’t even worth discussing, as they are completely ludicrous. This has already been well documented by every newspaper in the land, and the interesting thing is that the Musharraf regime completely misread the country’s reaction to this. The entire legal community is up in arms, and are “boycotting the courts”:http://thenews.com.pk/updates.asp#19251 in protest. The rest of the country just might follow…
!http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/42671000/jpg/_42671143_woman_ap416.jpg! That is just a picture of the police beating up lawyers – it was enough to cause the govt. to stop transmission on the most popular private news channel for displaying pictures of this. Sadly, that is not all. *Reliable eyewitnesses report that the Chief Justice tried to take a walk with his wife and two daughters whereupon the police tried to stop them, and when the CJ persisted, they beat him up, manhandled his family and threw them in their cars and sped them off to the Baluchistan house.* This was confirmed by Geo TV at the 1pm news hour on March 13, 07, also by people in Islamabad.
On top of all this, “Where the hell is Justice Bagwan Das?”:http://darvesh.wordpress.com/2007/03/13/where-is-justice-bhagwan-das/ The BBC and the Indian Supreme Court can’t “locate him in India”:http://www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/india/story/2007/03/070312_wheres_bhagwan_sq.shtml, so it’s possible he too is under arrest somewhere in Pakistan. Pakistan had “all the makings of a police state”:http://thenews.jang.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=46616 already, and now Musharraf is trying to turn the whole country into a military cantonment.
h4. More reading
* “Wikipedia entry on Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iftikhar_Muhammad_Chaudhry
* “Google News”:http://news.google.com/news?q=chief+Justice+Iftikhar+Mohammad+Chaudhry&hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&hs=zQd&um=1&sa=X&oi=news&ct=title
* “A good overview”:http://www.teeth.com.pk/blog/2007/03/12/an-executive-assault-on-the-judiciary/
* “Why is the CJ in Trouble?”:http://politicalpakistan.blogspot.com/2007/03/why-is-cj-in-trouble.html
* “Paklaw”:http://paklaw.wordpress.com/ :: A weblog covering the events. And “Zinda Rood”:http://darvesh.wordpress.com/ is also on top of events.
* “Geo TV time line of important events in the Chief Justice sacking”:http://www.geo.tv/important_events/cj_reference/pages/english_news.asp
# Throwing out a Chief Justice might seem like no big deal compared to throwing out the entire government just a few years back, but public opinion is key – at that time many supported Musharraf’s action, while today no one, not even government functionaries (in private, when they can stop lying) support Musharraf kicking out the Chief Justice.
# The statements said by small minds, in this case the top politician in Musharraf’s gilded cage, President Pakistan Muslim League, Ch Shujaat Hussain who said he “has no right to comment on the issue as both Army and Judiciary are prestigious institutions” are mind boggling.