Is Pakistan under Emergency or Martial law?
Nov 05: Pakistan army chief and General Parvez Musharraf warded off the problem beforehand, by proclaiming emergency on Pakistan on November 03, as the Supreme Court of Pakistan was expected to announce the verdict on the legality of the re-election of the president and many apprehended that the decision might go against Musharraf, looking at the ongoing tussle between him and judiciary.
This proclamation of emergency on Saturday is seen with much trepidation as of ‘where Pakistan’s future is going?’
While declaring emergency Musharraf strongly supported it and said that its inconsonance among judiciary, executive and legislative were not working in unison because of judicial interference and also that judiciary is creating hindrance in the economic progress of the country. He also enumerated that Media and vested interest were hampering the growth of Pakistan.
However, President also mentioned that Parliament would remain intact forbidding political activity, freedom of expression and detention of anyone without charges.
Many experts say it as ‘Military Rule’ not ‘Emergency’ as the same is proclaimed under the rule of Army Chief not the President.
Musharraf declared emergency on Saturday and suspended the country’s constitution. Chief Justice Iftikar Choudhary was replaced by Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar.
Even the forth estate, Media was hit and took all government establishment under the control of military troops and many private channels were off air. The efforts of Communicating are also meagreing as many of the telephone lines have been disconnected.
This move has met bags of criticism from in and around the world.
While many termed this as second military coup by President first being in 1999 to take the power and this came to restore his power as a President.
However in his speech on Saturday he said that the grave situation on the soil of Pakistan had forced him to make such a painful decision.
He said, “I suspect that Pakistan's sovereignty is in danger unless timely action is taken…extremists are roaming around freely in the country, and they are not scared of law-enforcement agencies”.
As well as shielding emergency rule to the Pakistani people, Gen. Musharraf also appealed directly to his Western allies for patience, “Kindly understand the criticality of the situation in Pakistan and around Pakistan. Pakistan is on the verge of destabilisation. Inaction at this moment is suicidal for Pakistan and I cannot allow this country to commit suicide”.
The problems hovering over Pakistan seems to be never ending, as it is facing the crisis of suicide bombing by terrorist as well as the degrading political situation, there is chaos in all kind of establishment in Pakistan. Many of eminent people have been rounded off after the emergency.
Earlier, blockade of the radical ‘Red Mosque’ in Islamabad in July triggered a string of attacks against military and political targets.
Fresh trouble began after Bhutto’s landing to Pakistan before general election to campaign for her party and escape a bid on her life, which engulfed over hundreds of lives.
Last month, Pakistan’s army Headquarter was attacked by a suicide bomber and hundreds of people were died during a struggle between government forces and pro-Taliban militants in Swat valley.
Under 232 of Pakistan’s Constitution, the provision of emergency is laid after a joint sitting of both the houses and is summoned by President and if the president is satisfied with the security condition of Pakistan or any part thereof is threatened by war or external aggression, or by internal disturbance beyond the power of a Provincial Government to control, he may declare emergency.
The statement that carried the declaration further said, “Therefore, in pursuance of the deliberations and decisions of the said meetings, I, General Pervez Musharraf, Chief of the Army Staff, proclaim emergency throughout Pakistan”.
Reaction across the world
US which consider Pakistan its ally to fight against terrorism in its statement made by the US Secretary of State said that the declaration of emergency rule was highly regrettable and made it clear that though it support Pakistan in terms of war against terrorism but it is against anything that is extra constitutional.
Japan ’s Foreign Ministry said, “ Japan has constantly supported Pakistan's war on terror and its efforts to establish democracy. Japan strongly hopes that Pakistan will soon restore normalcy and return to the process of democratisation”.
While John Howard, Australian Prime Minister said that though he respects General Musharraf's anti-terrorism stance, but during a phone conversation he conveyed to Musharraf that Australia could not support any extra constitutional behavior and urged that the rule of law must reign and hope of early return of democracy in Pakistan.
India ’s Ministry of External Affairs said, “We regret the difficult times that Pakistan is passing through. We trust that conditions of normalcy will soon return permitting Pakistan's transition to stability and democracy to continue”.
M K Bhadrakumar, a former diplomat with a word of cautions said, “Regrettably, the United Progressive Alliance government is following the US regional policy in Pakistan. This is an extremely short-sighted approach. If a neighbour's house catches fire, it is bound to spread. An entire arc of extreme volatility is developing from Iraq through Iran to Afghanistan, and now to Pakistan. It is right on our doorstep”.
“The US can take comfort that this 'war on terror' takes place tens of thousands of miles away and doesn't directly affect the 'homeland security’”, he further added.
This step criticised by former president Nawaz Sharif, "We are heading towards a chaotic situation, heading towards anarchy”.
Bhutto, who is facing criticism for leaving her country when the declaration of emergency was doing round has warned President that Pakistan is skidding towards dictatorship.
She said that this is not an ‘Emergency’ but ‘Martial law’ and that people will protest against it.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz has said that general election in Pakistan could be delayed for a year.
While President on state Television said that emergency has been imposed taking in consideration nation’s interest, to counter terrorism and to save country from the downward trend of economy.
The situation has put question mark on President’s motives that was earlier held as a person with progressive thoughts as he had allowed extremism first to spread its tentacle reach the entire corner of the country and next while declaring emergency to free it from terrorism.
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