The Dictator’s Dying Gasps

Police have registered a case against journalists after a torch-bearing procession for freedom of press and anti-government speeches in front of the prime minister secretariat. The secretariat police have registered the case against the journalists for violation of article 144. The participants of the rally breaking the barriers occupied the gate of the prime minister secretariat and used scathing language against the government, the FIR said. The case has been registered against 200 newsmen including Mazhar Abbas, Fauzia Shahid, C.R. Shamsi, Afzal Butt, Mushtaq Minhas, Tariq Usmani, Talat Hussain and others.Besides, Muslim League (N) leader Ahsan Iqbal, minorities leader J. Salik and civil society’s Jehangir Akhtar have been booked under charges of instigating the rally.

The FIR has been sealed after registration of the case.

Brilliant. Issue an FIR against Mazhar Abbas, who just got a death threat in the shape of a bullet in an envelope. And in related news:

The police here[Punjab] and across the country in a sudden extensive crackdown have arrested hundreds of workers of different political and religious parties, while the police and the administration were evading giving reasons for the arrests. Referring to these arrests, political leaders told that this crackdown has been launched to preempt likely protest demonstrations and reactions against the curbs clamped on media and the judicial crisis, while the observers have termed this crackdown a prelude to any major change.

Source: The News

What on earth does Musharraf think he is doing? Amending laws, taking channels off air, asking the media to exercise self censorship, arresting political party workers, conjuring up the killers of Daniel Pearl who were in custody for months before today to divert attention. All of these examples resemble the dying gasps of a dictator. What Musharraf perhaps doesn’t realize is that the US support for Pakistan is fading. Not only that, history tells us this: when the US needed Zia, they let him continue fcking up the nation. The moment they didn’t, they got rid of him. Does Musharraf really think he’ll get away with clamping down on the media, civil society and the judiciary now, after all that has happened in the past two months, and with such arrogance to top it off?

If you tolerate this, then your children will be next.

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