by Shaun Appleby, Sat Nov 03, 2007 at 07:02:17 AM EDT
Just a heads-up on Pakistan, Musharraf has declared a state of emergency and surrounded the Supreme Court. The eight judges ordered the prime minister and the military to defy his orders. Bhutto has been safely back in Dubai for a couple of days. This is bad news. My RSS feeds from Pakistan are dead at the moment, Musharraf has cut off all communication from Pakistani news outlets to the outside world.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) -- President Gen. Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency in Pakistan on Saturday ahead of a crucial Supreme Court decision on whether to overturn his recent election win and amid rising Islamic militant violence.
Eight Supreme Court judges immediately rejected the emergency, which suspended the current constitution. The government blocked transmissions of private news channels in several cities and telephone services in the capital, Islamabad, were cut.
"The chief of army staff has proclaimed a state of emergency and issued a provisional constitutional order," a newscaster on state Pakistan TV said, adding that Musharraf, who took power in 1999 coup, would address the nation later Saturday.
Matthew Pennington - AP 3 Nov 07
Also the BBC report. This is not a terrific omen for the 'war on terror' in Waziristan and neighbouring Afghanistan. We have been urging Musharraf not to do this but he must have compelling reasons of his own. Looks like the Bhutto power-sharing deal is off for the time being too. Musharraf is desperate to get the court to validate his presidency and apparently anticipated they would rule against him. Islamic militants in Swat have been handing the Pakistani Army some embarrassing reverses lately and such fighting against Islamic militants has traditionally also brought up tensions within the military establishment. Hope this all blows over in few days of dictatorial martial law, there are many unpleasant scenarios which could lead from this kind of national unrest in Pakistan.
Remember Bin Laden's recent tape which called for jihad in Pakistan? He may have been on to something.