Catching up

I've been hibernating the last few months and have consequently missed out on a lot that's been happening online and off. The biggest news, of course, is that Musharraf has declared a state of emergency in Pakistan, leaving himself the only law of the land. L'etat, c'est lui, indeed.

Kyla has been writing about the situation steadily and about her participation in the Lahore protest on  Nov 5.

Ameel has blogged about the situation as well, explaining rather well why Musharraf was able to gain our trust and support back when he took over and why people with foresight and a grasp of history insisted that, for all the good he may have been doing, having him around was still a bad idea.

Both Kyla and Ameel have linked to other blogs that are reporting on happenings on the ground.  The Internet's the only source of information we have really since television and radio channels have been taken off the air and newspapers are not allowed to print anything critical of the government. GEO is alive and well online, though a notice on the site says that they're not putting too much content up because of the heavy traffic they've been getting. Dawn is also operating online despite having been muzzled by the new press ordinance. I don't know if there's a difference between their print and online versions at the moment since I haven't got access to the newspaper itself.

I've said this elsewhere so I may as well do so here: the crap the US and UK are spouting about democracy and the elections and their 'insistence' that both be returned is just that. It's for show only. If members of civil society and the government were able to predict that this would happen if Musharraf stuck around too long, so was the US (and when I say 'US' I mean the States as well as its little pets). Yes, democracy and the constitution should be upheld and elections should be held, yes the army should get out of government, but the idea that it should or could be done because a foreign government that is interested only in using the patch of land that happens to be Pakistan says so is unacceptable. What earthly difference does it make to the US what kind of government exists in Pakistan? The fact is, it doesn't. So long as said government does not interfere with the US's goals in the area, it's really none of the US's concern who runs the country.  This very visible media-friendly hand-wringing is, to mix metaphors, a lot of lip-service to public opinion back home (since some of them might actually know what a Pakistan is and will therefore be concerned that their super-duper government isn't effectively enlightening us benighted savages) and little else.

So instead of listening to their protestations and proclamations, divert yourselves with  Musharraf's amended press ordinance and the now-suspended constitution of Pakistan.