Wednesday, November 07, 2007

State of Confusion

Over the past few days, Pakistani General Perez Musharraf has issued a state of emergency, taking sole control of the Pakistani government in order to “help combat terrorism”. His emergency rule includes dismissing members on the Supreme Court (Mr. Chaudhry has been put under house arrest), censoring privately owned television stations and administering widespread arrests of protesting lawyers. While Musharraf states emergency rule is needed to fight Islamic extremists, he seems to be arresting only lawyers and liberal political activists.

The United States is in a difficult position. Pakistan is one of our strongest allies in the war against terror, Al Queda and the Taliban. We’ve given them over 10 billion dollars since 2001, mostly for military aid. Yet, martial law is far from democracy and the United States should and has pushed for a return to democracy as soon as possible.

Should the United States withdraw their aid to Pakistan (therefore losing a key ally) to fight for democracy and the right for election, free speech and protest for all? “Extraordinarily heavy-handed measures” are being used to unjustly arrest lawyers and human rights activists each day (New York Times). The United States government says human rights are for all, but how important are they when money, power and influence come into play?

1 comment:

Ben said...

I believe that what is happening in Pakistan definitely posses a threat for the US. This threat is not just political and economical but also a threat to national security. Pakistan does have nuclear weaponry and with the government in a state of an emergency the possibility of a dirty bomb falling into the hands of Islamic extremists is a reality. The US although allies with Pakistan should set forth guidelines for Pakistan to follow or it should withdraw its financial support. When a country is in a state of emergency who knows where millions of tax payers money is going and even if it is getting to the right hands.