Archive for the ‘Pakistan’ Category

“White House tells Musharraf: Never ‘Restrict Constitutional Freedoms’ to Fight Terror.”

The Bush administration once imagined that its presence in Afghanistan and Iraq would be anchored by friendly neighbors, Turkey to the west and Pakistan to the east. Last week, as the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan continued to deteriorate, the anchors themselves also came loose.

On Sunday, just days after the Turkish Parliament authorized an invasion of Iraqi Kurdistan, Kurdish guerrillas ambushed and killed 17 Turkish soldiers inside Turkey. In Karachi, Pakistan, a massive bomb nearly killed U.S.-backed Benazir Bhutto, who was supposed to help stabilize the country. The Bush administration’s entire Middle East policy is coming undone — if it even has a policy left, other than just sticking its fingers in the multiple, and multiplying, holes in the dike.

In Iraq, the Kurds of the north are the United States’ most reliable allies. In addition to the 5.5 million Kurds in Iraq, however, persons speaking dialects of Kurdish constitute around 11 million of neighboring Turkey’s 70 million citizens. There are another 4 million Kurds next door in Iran, and up to 2 million in Syria. All three of Iraq’s northern neighbors fear that Kurdish nationalism, which has been fostered by the U.S. occupation of Iraq, could tear them apart. Opposition to that nationalism could provide a platform for an alliance of Syria, Turkey and Iran — a nightmare for the Bush administration. Washington had hoped to isolate Syria, an ally of both Iran and of Hezbollah in Lebanon. That’s not how it is turning out.

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We will not be posting Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2007. We are participating in the STRIKE FOR PEACE.

If you’ve had enough, you need to say “When.”

Well – he’s learning from the best…….

The political crisis in Pakistan deepened last night as President Musharraf was poised to impose a state of emergency, a move that would grant him sweeping powers.

First indications of the clampdown came when General Musharraf cancelled a visit to Kabul, where he was due to address a joint jirga (council) of Pakistani and Afghan tribal elders. Officials denied reports that the President had decided to declare a state of emergency, but other sources said that an announcement was imminent.

General Musharraf has convened a meeting today of Cabinet ministers, the Attorney-General and leaders of the ruling party to finalise his plans.

“These are only unconfirmed reports, although the possibility of imposing emergency cannot be ruled out and has recently been discussed, keeping in mind some external and internal threats and the law-and-order situation,” Tariq Azim Khan, the Deputy Information Minister, said.

Emergency rule would allow General Musharraf, who seized power in a coup in 1999, to extend the tenure of the national and provincial assemblies by 12 months and to delay elections that are due at the end of the year.

The Government could explain such a step by citing a recent spate of suicide attacks across the country and the growing security threat posed by Islamist militants allied to the Taleban and al-Qaeda.

From The Times