‘Press’ on Emergency

What different newspapers have to say on Government’s decision to impose Emergency:


The full consequences of the new situation Pakistan has been plunged into are still to be seen. But they cannot be positive. As such, in the current scenario, one can only hope the present phase is kept as short as possible and full constitutional rule is restored before the passage of too many weeks or months of darkness.


We think this attitude and measure should be reviewed and fair elections should be arranged by [President Musharraf] taking off his military uniform in accordance with US advice so the country can get out of the current crisis.


Saturday’s declaration of emergency rule has put an abrupt end to the government’s policy of “enlightened moderation”, as borne out by detention of dozens of civil society members within 24 hours of the proclamation. It is ironical that such natural allies against the forces of extremism should now be seen, together with the independent media and the judiciary, as a threat to state power. Both had asserted their freedom, which admittedly tried the patience of the executive.


We think the government should shorten the duration of emergency and restore the basic human rights of the people as soon as possible.


Now it is better for us to look forward. The political parties should take care of their responsibility and play their role. Lawyers and the media should fulfil their obligations. Such a strategy should be adopted so that the country can be put back on track, the constitution can be restored and free and fair elections can take place.


We think President Musharraf, by giving arguments in favour of emergency, has actually confessed to the failures of his eight-year rule and said clearly that the country is facing political, constitutional and economic crises. This confession itself is a cause for disappointment for the people, who are reluctant to believe that more steps by President Musharraf would put the country on the path of political stability and economic development.


We believe if martial law is imposed after emergency, it would be the last in the country’s history. The media have felt their responsibility, the inertia of civil society has broken, and the lawyers are keen to make every sacrifice to uphold the rule of law. Political forces too should be united in support of the democratic identity of the country. In this situation emergency and martial law would be the weakest dams to break.

More excerpts on the BBC website

2 Comments so far

  1. Loren (unregistered) on November 5th, 2007 @ 10:56 pm

    Thank you for on the ground updates. Shanta Devarajan, Chief Economist of the World Bank South Asia Region, comments on his blog (http://endpovertyinsouthasia.worldbank.org/) about the situation in Pakistan and are inviting people to share their views on this important matter!


  2. sa (unregistered) on November 6th, 2007 @ 9:56 am

    end game of “the reluctant dictator”

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