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04 November, 2007

Pakistan moves into a critical phase

WITH Gen. Pervez Musharraf staging a second coup, Pakistan has entered a critical phase. He has cited the security situation as the reason for the crackdown, but his action is widely seen as an attempt to save his own position. The fact, however, is that both his future and his country’s are at stake.

I wish to draw attention here to two articles on the Pakistan developments, published by

In 'Judicial Activism' Triggered Emergency Rule In Pakistan, well-known Pakistan journalist Beena Sarwar examines the development in the context of the recent interventions of the Supreme Court.

Beena Sarwar, who focuses on human rights, gender, media, and peace, has extensive experience with the print media and television in Pakistan and abroad. She was Features Editor of The Frontier Post, Lahore, founding editor of weekly The News on Sunday, Op-Ed Editor of daily The News and Contributing Editor in Pakistan for monthly Himal Southasian, Kathmandu. After doing her Masters in Television Documentary in London in 2001, she made several documentaries and worked as a producer with Geo Television, Pakistan's first 24-hour news channel, in Karachi.

She was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University (2005-06), and Fellow at Harvard University's Carr Center for Human Rights Policy (2006-07). She is currently based in Karachi working on a book about the struggle for democratic spaces in Pakistan.
Her article appears at

In Don’t Let Musharraf Live With What He Has Just Done, well-known scholar Abid Ullah Jan speculates on the US role in the developments in Pakistan. He notes that Musharraf’s declaration of emergency coincides with the US military exercises in the Gulf and Condoleezza Rice’s visit to China. Maybe the US could not afford a civilian government setting in Pakistan when it goes to war on Iran. While the imposition of emergency is directed at the Supreme Court in particular, it also serves US interests in the region, he says.

Abid Ullah Jan is the author of several books on international affairs. Among them is one titled “The Musharraf Factor: Leading Pakistan to Inevitable Demise”, published in 2005. His article is at

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