With everything that has occurred in my neck of the woods, it has been difficult to pay attention to much else.
However, there have been some significant developments in Pakistan. Former President Pervez Musharraf has been placed under house arrest for at least the next two weeks. Musharraf faces charges pending from the state of emergency he imposed in late 2007 which saw the the country’s constitution suspended as well as the Pakistani Supreme Judicial Council and opposition leaders Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif placed under house arrest. He also faces charges with regard to Bhutto’s assassination which occurred shortly after the state of emergency was lifted.
Shortly after the 2008 elections which saw the late Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party come to power, Musharraf went into exile in London and Dubai. He returned to Pakistan last month in the hope of participating in this year’s elections. However, an electoral tribunal disqualified him from running.
Musharraf is said to be confined to two rooms in his farmhouse, is not allowed to meet his family or his lawyers. While one could make a case that Musharraf’s manner of detention is unfair, he doesn’t exactly inspire sympathy. The Pakistani courts are merely doing to him what he did to them. Musharraf is getting a taste of his own medicine.
What has long disturbed me about Musharraf was his cavalier attitude towards Bhutto’s death.
Musharraf originally seized power in military coup in 1999 ousting Sharif and sending him to exile in Saudi Arabia. Originally an ally of the Taliban, he switched sides following the attacks of September 11, 2001. While Pakistani forces did arrest 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Musharraf was duplicitous with the Bush Administration. With friends like Musharraf who needs enemies?
Pakistan’s elections are due to take place on May 11th and will mark the first time there has been transition between civilian governments since its independence in 1947.
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