Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Pakistani PM: Thou Shalt Not Criticize The Regime

ISLAMABAD, May 28 (AFP) - Pakistan's Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz Monday warned against criticism of the army after the country's suspended top judge issued a veiled attack on the military rule of President Pervez Musharraf.
Make that "General President Pervez Musharraf", or possibly "President General Pervez Musharraf".

When the President is a General, what's critical of the government is critical of the army, and vice versa. And that's one of the reasons why the President is not supposed to be a General. Nonetheless, the PM
said the courts should “think about taking action” after a string of lawyers at a seminar attended by Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry on Saturday called on Musharraf to quit as army chief.
So, according to the Prime Minister, the courts should "think about taking action" against the former Chief Justice, who was sacked because he wanted to -- and still does want to -- enforce the law? Clearly enforcing the Constitution is less to be admired than supporting the men with the heavy weapons. Or at least that's how the PM sees it.
It does not suit any Pakistani to speak against the armed forces because it effects our defence, integrity and prestige. We strongly condemn it,” Aziz told reporters.

The armed forces had always helped Pakistan in times of need and the lawyers' remarks against them “have hurt the sentiments of all Pakistanis,” the premier added. “The judiciary should now think about taking action on this.”
I agree they should think about taking action, but I doubt the action I have in mind would suit Mr. Aziz.
About 5,000 lawyers and opposition party members had rallied outside the Supreme Court to greet Chaudhry ahead of Saturday's seminar on the independence of the judiciary.
And in my ever-so-frozen view, the judiciary should support the people who are putting their necks on the line in favor of an independent judiciary -- and not the Prime Minister, who wants to diminish everybody's independence by dictating what people must and must not say.

But that's just me.

Seven blasts rock Quetta; train track damaged

The main railway line linking Quetta with the rest of the country was disabled as seven bomb explosions shook the Balochistan capital on Monday. Six people were injured in the blasts.

According to official sources, the six men — all labourers — were injured when unidentified people hurled a hand grenade on a house in the Sariab neighbourhood.

The second blast happened in Ghafoorabad, causing extensive damage to the railway line linking Quetta with the rest of the country.

A railway official said all Quetta-bound passenger trains would be stopped at different stations preceding Quetta till the rehabilitation of the track.

The track would be made usable by Tuesday evening, he added.

Another blast took place in the Satellite Town when two persons [riding] on a motorbike hurled a grenade [at] the house of a retired heath inspector. A number of cars parked near the house were damaged.

One of the bombs exploded near a Wapda office, smashing windowpanes in nearby offices.