Pakistan’s Musharraf Is the Problem
Instead of cracking down on the Taliban and al-Qaeda terrorists in Pakistan’s northwestern territories, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, an army general who came to power in a 1999 coup, has directly challenged the rule of law and Pakistan’s independent judicial system by his imposition of emergency rule last week.
Musharraf’s emergency measures were supposedly aimed at the war on terror. However, the day after he declared the state of emergency, the leading English daily newspaper in Pakistan, the Dawn, reported that the Pakistani government had released several arrested terrorists.
Musharraf invoked the provisional constitutional motion to suspend Pakistan’s Supreme Court because their decision about whether Musharraf could run for office while serving in the military would have resulted in his ineligibility. The emergency measures were meant to quell contempt for this bold move. Yet, Musharraf was roused when public outcry grew stronger after deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry (who says the Pakistani constitution ‘has been ripped to shreds’), imprisoned human rights lawyer Asma Jehangir and former exiled Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto after they called for protests against the Pakistani president and his blatant disregard for the country’s constitution.
The Musharraf government has declared martial law in order to settle scores with lawyers and judges