Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Bu$hco & Musharraff ~Birds of a Feather
Bu$hco remains nonchalant about Pervez Musharraff's control of the supreme court, while Condi's assistant, John Negroponte, visits Pakistan. Indeed Pervez's use of emergency rule, and the arrest of thousands of attorneys who dare to disagree with him is not much different from Duhbya's increasing powers over the three branches of government in the US, and a matter of concern by "We The People" in our upcoming elections.
Mr Negroponte told reporters that while the US still regarded General Musharraf as a valuable ally, the measures he had taken since imposing a state of emergency on 3 November "run directly counter to the reforms that have been undertaken in recent years".
He added: "Emergency rule is not compatible with free, fair and credible elections, which require the active participation of political parties, civil society and the media." But Mr Negroponte admitted that his presentation to General Musharraf had so far brought no new concessions: "In diplomacy, as you know, we don't get instant replies."
The stalemate highlights Washington's lack of leverage. It has provided more than $11bn (£5.4bn) to Pakistan since the terror attacks of 11 September 2001, but has clearly shown it does not intend to stop such aid – in fact it has been reported that the US spent an additional $100m over the past six years to help General Musharraf secure his country's nuclear weapons.
Lawyers raise a voice in Pakistan
Barristers vow to fight on against emergency rule. But with protests tightly suppressed, they wonder what to do next.
By Laura King, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
November 21, 2007
ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN -- They were a soft-spoken group, these men in business suits, perched decorously on plastic chairs in a shabby courtyard outside the Islamabad Bar Assn. But nearly all had raw, hoarse voices.
"It's because we're shouting every day," Mohammed Tayyab, the association's secretary, said half-apologetically, clearing his throat. "We prefer to talk, but in these days, we have to shout."
In Pakistan's third week of de facto martial law, it is the lawyers who have shouted the loudest and longest. Since Nov. 3, these incongruous firebrands have spilled from their courtrooms into the streets, a pudgy and bookish vanguard of opposition to President Pervez Musharraf's emergency decree.
Television coverage aired around the world, but not in Pakistan, has shown droves of lawyers clad in the black suits they must wear in court hurling stones at police and choking on tear gas. In the early days of emergency rule, more than 2,000 barristers wound up in jail, and hundreds more were beaten bloody or fled into hiding.