Thursday, November 8, 2007

Lost In The Struggle: Rashid Rauf's Bail Hearing Must Wait

Because of the crisis engulfing Pakistan's legal system, Rashid Rauf's bail hearing in Lahore has been postponed until November 15th, when it will most likely be postponed again, assuming Pakistan still has a legal system by then.

As regular readers of this page may remember, Pakistan's legal system is in crisis because it's being attacked by the President, General Pervez Musharraf, who declared the constitution "in abeyance" in his declaration of emergency on Saturday night, and whose security forces have been arresting lawyers and judges ever since -- along with human rights activists and political opponents.

Rashid Rauf, as regular readers may also remember, is the alleged mastermind of the alleged Liquid Bombers plot, which was allegedly foiled in August of 2006 in the UK. His first petition for bail, heard in Rawalpindi in October, was denied. At the time, his attorney said they would try again elsewhere.

Clearly this story pales in comparison to other events occurring in Pakistan, but it forms a vital (and very misleading) part of the prism through which events in Pakistan are seen in the west, so I'll try not to let it slip away entirely.


twenty-second in a series