US green signal paved way for Musharraf to declare emergency(Article)

November 14th, 2007 - 8:23 am ICT by admin  
Islamabad: Extraordinary measures in support of the U.S.-led War on Terror requires extraordinary powers for General Pervez Musharraf’ was the pretext on which Washington gave the green light to Musharraf to impose an emergency across Pakistan through a Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO).

It was only after this green signal was given that Pakistan’s Constitution, which was declared in 1973, was held in abeyance,clearing the way for President and Chief of Army Staff Pervez Musaharraf to be practically above the law.

The decision was taken on Saturday.

The decision immediatly precipitated a retaliation by the judiciary. However, the government countered it by sacking seven judges, including the Chief Justice of Pakistan.

All senior judges have refused to take oath under Provisional Constitutional Order and a meeting of judges from Lahore high court was underway to take a united decision.

The Government has also arrested the newly elected President of the Paksitan Bar Council and Member of Parliament Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan.

Well placed sources maintained that Benazir Bhutto has been asked by Islamabad to help the government in the formation of an interim setup in the country. Bhutto is said to have landed in Karachi a short while ago.

The proclamation is primarily a chargesheet against the judiciary of the country which has been accused of releasing terrorists and humiliating government officials,and clearly implies a government plan to purge the judiciary.Pakistan Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary is already the first casualty and has been replaced by Abdul Hameed Dogar.

The decision to impose emergency was finalized at a meeting in Islamabad on Saturday evening. It was attended by the Vice Chief of Army Staff, the Corps Commander (Mangla), the Corps Commander (Rawalpindi), Secretary General of ruling Pakistan Muslim League (Qaid-e-Azam) Mushahid Hussain Syed and several Cabinet members.

The reasons of the emergency enumerated in the written proclamation charged the supreme judiciary of the country with intervening in the administrative matters of the country,accused judges of taking advantage of their powers and for keeping themselves above from accountability process. The apex court was also charged with releasing the militants by using their authority, besides humiliating the government officials.

Sources privy to the top echelons of power told this correspondent that Pakistan took the step after taking Washington into confidence and linked the decision to its role in the U.S.-led war against terror.

In other words, the imposition of this Emergency means a declaration of full scale War against the insurgents.

At present, the biggest American concern is the strategic advance of the Taliban in the south west and north west of Afghanistan which aims to besiege Kandahar.

US CENTCOM Commander Admiral William Fallon said during his recent visit to Islamabad that until Pakistan controls the Taliban’s supplyline spreading from North West Frontier Province to the province of Balochistan in the south west, achieving success against it would be difficult.

Once again it was a coincidence that Taliban’s strategic advance and Musharraf’s need to stay in power happened at the same time.

Pakistan did its best to exploit the opportunity for the benefit of General Pervez Musharraf, who feared that the Supreme Court would nullify his qualification to be president for a second consecutive term.

He, therefore, convinced Washington that extraordinary powers needed to be vested in him to announce concrete measures against insurgents within Pakistani territory. He is believed to have told the United States that he anticipated the Supreme Court intervening in the matter in the name of human rights.

Washington gave its tacit approval even thought the court’s decision was expected on November 7, 2007.

On Friday, Pakistan’s sharing of intelligence with the United States enabled CIA drones to target Jalaluddin Haqqani groups’ compound in North Waziristan which killed several militants.

At present, the entire insurgency in Afghanistan is led by Jalaluddin Haqqani’s son Sirajuddin Haqqani.

At the same time, Pakistan has mobilized fresh troops and sent them to the North West Frontier Province to wage a massive operation against the insurgents. Sources have termed it the beginning of a new battle that could be more fierce than the acts of aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan. (ANI)

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