Open Thread: Everything That Has A Beginning Has An End, Neo

Musharraf declares Emergency rule in Pakistan, constitution suspended, provisional constitution declared, Bhutto returning to Pakistan (I thought she already had?). Text of proclamation (pdf) from Dawn. Judges removed, at least some opposing figures detained. Musharraf to address Pakistani society by state television at 6 p.m. GMT, according to media.

See Chapati Mystery for details and background. See Paklawyer, Teeth Maestro, Metroblogs for Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad for possible updates.

Articles (Dawn, Agencies via Al Jazeera, Guardian, Washington Post (registration or bugmenot required), NY Times)

If anyone’s looking for a basic text, Ian Talbot’s Pakistan: A Modern History is what I was assigned.

Two thoughts: Charitable reading--things are getting out of control in Pakistan and Musharraf thinks this is the only way things will remain minimally stable; More honest reading--just politics, and dictatorial politics at that.

Please add what you want in the comments--if I have time, I'll move it into the main body of the text. See below for updates.

Update 1: From The Nation, via Pak Lawyer, a report that the Supreme Court was about to rule against Musharraf prior to this decision.

A reported telephone call by Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry about a decision on the petition of Presidential election prompted the authorities to impose state of emergency in the country.

A government official, when asked about the reasons behind the move, said that Justice Iftikhar reportedly informed one of his friends on telephone that the Supreme Court was going to hand down verdict against President Musharraf, which was tapped by the secret agencies.
The agencies intercepted a call from CJ’s phone few days ago in which he even disclosed the number of judges favouring and opposing this decision, and this forced the top policymakers to devise the emergency plan, the official said.

Update 2: From Teeth Maestro, a report that Musharraf's live address was cancelled, a transcript of the taped address. Excerpt here:

Now what some people in law and justice department, disturbing the other two that is how the system of government got paralyzed, basically this is when it started since 9th of march 2007, since pm’s recommendation, i took a reference to sc again cj of pakistan it was a constitutional and legal framework action and some serious issues were involved. that is why i took notice of it and constitutionally, i took the decision to sc but what happened in following months, the break down of law and order in it there were some political isses involved that’s why this situation went from bad to worse i don’t want to go into details if any law enforcement agency makes mistakes, it doesn’t mean, instead of punishing one person or one officer you destabilize the whole nation and government very serious complaint that is why i sent it to sc but there was a judgement whatever it involves, whether i agreed or don’t. what happened in that judgement that they did not consider the whole complaint as an issue but with all my good will gestures, i accepted whatever it was sc, it was their judgment and it was my good intention
so i wanted to reconcile with supreme court, i just wanted to reconcile in interests of pakistan but unfortunately i extended my hand but it wasn’t resolved.

The second one there was a incident in islamabad, some people took their law and order in their hands in isb, it was very embarrassing what embarrassment, situation embarassing so the gov wasn’t able to control a pocket inside the city of islamabad, it was very embarassing for us and law agencies. take consideration for the extremists, they hijacked and hostaged some officers, they burnt public property and they killed some of the chineese engineers. they took action on their own and killed they kidnapped some chineese engineers and killed them and made an embarassing situation with gov of china, then they went from there to another ministry office. And burnt few vehicles outside that, and damaged gov buildings so i didnt’ want to take any extreme action i was just watching and i took a decision now, i want to appreciate all those agencies against that red mosque and finished that embarrassment against the gov and some lost their lives, and may god give them rest in heaven and died for security of pakistan

Unfortunately after that there was another case by sc and trial at sc, some 61 people in that case have been blacklisted by agencies but sc let them free, those 61 people got freedom (transcription ended here as the audio broke out..)

Update 3: From The NY Times, a copy of the court order against Musharraf, dated 11/3/2007

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Greetings. In response to


In response to Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf's declaration of martial law and illegal sacking of a Pakistani Supreme Court Justice, I am encouraging all bloggers out there who want true democratic rule for Pakistan's 165 million people to unite in opposition.

From now on, I am asking bloggers to consistantly refer to Musharraf as "Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf" consistantly linking back to a post I made explaining this idea in greater detail.

The post allows threaded comments, so that those opposed to Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf can start discussing ways that we can organize and unite in opposition to Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf's actions.

My hope is that a consistant message of opposition to martial law and support for democracy in Pakistan can help to influence the media away from legitimizing the Musharraf regime by referring to him as a President. By definition, he cannot be a President if he refuses the right for his government's Supreme Court to decide whether his running for office is legal or not.

Please drop by the post, leave a comment as to what ideas you have on how we can best unite in opposition to martial law, and please do consider using the phrase "Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf", linking back to the post.

Thank you,
Mark Kraft

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