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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Pakistan gets worse, not better

I am not an expert on Pakistan, but the situation there seems to be rapidly degrading. (Clips from Reuters, two AP articles, and the NYTimes.)
A bomb killed 24 people in northwest Pakistan on Tuesday, while in the capital opposition politicians walked out of parliament, forcing the house to postpone a debate on weekend violence in Karachi.....

On Monday, a nationwide opposition protest strike against the violence in Karachi virtually shut it and other major cities down. Karachi is Pakistan's biggest city and its business hub.

Opposition politicians walked out of parliament chanting "Go Musharraf Go," forcing the house to postpone a debate on weekend violence.

The bombing appears to be related to the Afghan/Pakistan tensions rather than Pakistan's other current internal strife.
Provincial police chief Sharif Virk said investigators had found the legs of the suspected suicide bomber, with a message taped to one leg that spies for America would meet such a fate.

The charges against Musharraf related to Chaudry get worse. Imagine the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court "held against his will" and "pressured to resign."
With Chaudhry himself absent, his lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan told the 13-judge bench Tuesday that the chief justice had been summoned to Musharraf's army office in Rawalpindi on March 9 and held there against his will for several hours.

Ahsan said Chaudhry had been pressured to resign — but didn't say by whom.

"He sought several times to leave. ... He was physically prevented from leaving," Ahsan said in the cavernous, marble-walled courtroom, where the public gallery was packed with reporters and lawyers.

Finally, there's this "mystery" killing that took place yesterday.
In another twist in the case, presiding judge Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday said the court had "taken cognizance" of the mysterious shooting death of a Supreme Court official, Syed Hammad Raza, at his Islamabad home before dawn on Monday.....

Police blamed robbers for the killing, but several relatives of Raza claimed it was a target killing as nothing had been stolen from the house.

From the NYTimes version,
Syed Hammad Raza, 37, an additional registrar of the Supreme Court, was killed under mysterious circumstances at 4:30 a.m. local time at his home, relatives and police officials said.

Islamabad police officials speculated that the killing was tied to a robbery. But relatives and lawyers called it politically motivated.

“It was targeted killing,” said Munir A. Malik, an aide to the chief justice. “He was shot near the temple.”.....

Mr. Raza “was asked to provide evidence against the justice, but he refused,” Mr. Malik said.

Again, I am not a Pakistan expert, but the situation appears to be spiralling out of control.


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