Freedom's on the march...

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by DeadCanDance, Nov 4, 2007.

  1. DeadCanDance
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    DeadCanDance Senior Member

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    Pakistan declares Martial Law

    Activists Detained in Pakistan Emergency

    By MATTHEW PENNINGTON – 2 hours ago

    ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) — Police wielding assault rifles rounded up opposition leaders and rights activists Sunday after Pakistan's military ruler suspended the constitution, ousted the top justice and deployed troops to fight what he called rising Islamic extremism.

    Gen. Pervez Musharraf, who seized power in a 1999 coup but had promised to hand over his army fatigues and become a civilian president this year, declared a state of emergency Saturday night, dashing hopes of a smooth transition to democracy for the nuclear-armed nation.

    "Gen. Musharraf's second coup," read the headline in the Dawn daily. "It is martial law," said the Daily Times.

    Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said the extraordinary measures would remain in place "as long as it is necessary." He also said parliamentary elections could be postponed up to a year, but no such decision had been made.

    Aziz also said that up to 500 opposition activists had been arrested in the last 24 hours.

    Among those detained were Javed Hashmi, the acting president of the party of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif; cricket star-turned politician, Imran Khan; Asma Jehangir, chairman of the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan; and Hamid Gul, former chief of the main intelligence agency and a staunch critic of Musharraf's support for the U.S.-led war on terror.

    Some 200 armed police stormed the rights commission office in Lahore on Sunday and arrested about 50 activists, said Mehbood Ahmed Khan, a legal officer for the body.

    "They dragged us out, including the women," he said from the police station in the eastern city. "It's inhuman, undemocratic and a violation of human rights to enter a room and arrest people gathering peacefully there."

    Musharraf's leadership is threatened by an Islamic militant movement that has spread from border regions to the capital, the reemergence of political rival and former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and an increasingly defiant Supreme Court, which was expected to rule soon on the validity of his recent presidential election win. Hearings scheduled for next week were postponed, with no new date set.

    Attorney General Malik Mohammed Qayyum denied claims by Bhutto and others that Musharraf had imposed martial law — direct rule by the army — under the guise of a state of emergency. He noted the prime minister was still in place and that parliament would complete its term, ending Nov. 15.

    In Islamabad, phone service that was cut Saturday evening appeared to have been restored by Sunday morning. But transmissions by television news networks other than state-controlled Pakistan TV remained off the air.

    Scores of paramilitary troops blocked access to the Supreme Court and parliament. Otherwise streets in the capital appeared calm, with only a handful of demonstrations. But one, attended by 40 people at the Marriott Hotel, was broken up by baton-wielding police.....


    http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jIE0IUn4WIiaMBpjG8SI_6H5RXzgD8SMRNNG0
     
  2. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    Interesting turn of events. This is one of the great dilemmas of what is often called initiative democracy (voting). Consider South America and the potential for Socialist dictators being voted in due to the wide disparities between rich and poor. Given the regimes and policies western democracy has supported we may be headed again backward to 'bad' socialist and fascist regimes. Once in power ideas of security and stability take over. If America continues on her quest to make us a third world nation through the widening separation of rich and poor, the inculcation of religion into politics, and the economics of greed over social good, it will be interesting to see the world's first democracy tumble towards Oligarchy of the communism kind. (tongue in cheek but thinking)
     
  3. Paulie
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    Paulie Platinum Member

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    Dude, that's already happened. Where have you been?
     

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