Friday, August 8, 2008

Musharraf On The Ropes: Pakistan Prepares For Impeachment

President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan -- the former Army Chief of Staff who took power in a coup in 1999 -- is suddenly facing impeachment!

According to Pakistan's Daily Times:
The four-party ruling coalition said on Thursday it would move to impeach President Pervez Musharraf for plunging the country into political and economic crises and warned him against any attempt to dismiss the government.

The coalition also announced it would reinstate the judges sacked for not taking oath under a Provisional Constitution Order after Musharraf promulgated a state of emergency on November 3, 2007.

“The coalition leaders believe that it has become imperative to move for impeachment,” Zardari, flanked by major coalition partner Nawaz Sharif and representatives of the ANP, the JUI-F and parliamentarians from FATA, told a news conference while reading a communiqué after three days of negotiations.
The Daily Times lists the charges against Musharraf:
  • The president has worked to undermine the transition to democracy through collusion with the ‘King’s party’
  • His policies have weakened the federation
  • His economic policies during the last eight years have brought Pakistan to the brink of economic impasse
  • His policies have thrown the country into the worst power shortage in its history
  • He did not get a vote of confidence from the new assemblies despite a commitment made with the [Supreme Court]
  • He failed to address new parliament
  • He did not resign after his allies were defeated in the February 18 elections
It would not be difficult to add to this list -- in fact I have been doing so (sporadically) for the past couple of years. For a few examples (among many), see any or all of the following:

Blatant contempt for the electoral process:
Pakistan Is The Central Front In The Global War On The Rule Of Law
Pakistani Presidential Election Marching Straight Through The Looking Glass

Using the power of the state to oppress journalism and political opposition:
Thousands Of Pakistanis Protest Media Restrictions
A Fine Orwellian Balance In Pakistan: Musharraf Rescinds New Media Regulations, But New Media-Control Policy Remains In Force!
Working For The (Pakistani) Clampdown: More Than 300 Activists Arrested, New Media Rules In Effect
Musharraf Prepares To Retain Power In Pakistan's Impregnable Fortress Of Democracy
National Hero Imran Khan Arrested In Pakistani Clampdown, To Be Charged With Terrorism

Attempting to dismantle the Rule of Law:
Emergency In Pakistan: Destroying Democracy In Order To Save It
Building 'An Impregnable Fortress Of Democracy', American-Style
Pakistan: Supreme Court Reaffirms Rule Of Law In The Face Of Daily Terror; USA: Um, Well...
Crowds Of Lawyers Danced And Threw Flower Petals

Supporting domestic and international terrorism:
Is Pakistan's "Public Enemy Number One" A CIA Asset? Of Course He Is! Otherwise He'd Have Been Dead A Long Time Ago
Why Pervez Musharraf Can't Tolerate Questions About Rashid Rauf
Tony Blair Makes a Donation -- to a Government including an International Terrorist

There's a lot more, but who are we kidding? You won't click any of these links, will you?

People Power In Pakistan; Sheep Asleep In _____

So I'll cut to the chase:

Musharraf's next logical moves would be declaration of martial law, dissolution of the national parliament and the provincial assemblies, and incarceration of all opposition political leaders. I would not be surprised if he did all these things -- or at least tried to.

Pakistan's assault on the rule of law and the rights of its citizens has been a step or two ahead of the Bush administration, and I would also not be surprised to see Bush do any or all of these things -- or at least try to -- even absent the threat of impeachment.

Desperate despicable people tend to do desperate despicable things, especially when their illegitimate hold on power is threatened.

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