Benazir Bhutto Reported Dead: UPDATED with Reactions


~Wake Up America~

[Updates below] Reactions & Al-Qaeda tries to take credit for Bhutto’s death.

NYT, SkyNews, MSNBC, CNN, ABC, and Washington Post are all reporting that Benazir Bhutto has been assassinated and a deadly suicide bombing attack that has killed at least 20 people.

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan – Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated Thursday in a suicide bombing that also killed at least 20 others at a campaign rally, a party aide and a military official said.

“At 6:16 p.m. she expired,” said Wasif Ali Khan, a member of Bhutto’s party who was at Rawalpindi General Hospital where she was taken after the attack.

Evidently she was shot in the neck and chest and as she was getting in a car to leave the rally, the initial reports are claiming. Her husband later told media she was in surgery.

Pakistan is already in a state of emergency declared by Musharaff earlier in the year and there had already been an assassination attempts on Bhutto at a rally in October and again yesterday, police stopped a would-be bomber with explosives around his neck.. There is also speculation that this assassination might postpone the parliamentary elections scheduled for January.

According to ABC, early reports were that Bhutto was safe, but reports have now come out that she is dead.

The Washington Post is reporting that at a different rally, a sniper opened fire on supporters of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, leaving four dead and five injured.

MSNBC reports that Musharaff had forced Bhutto to cancel a previous rally, citing security fears and that security at this rally was tight, “hundreds of riot police manning security checkpoints with metal detectors around what was Bhutto’s first campaign rally since returning from exile two months ago.”

Not tight enough obviously.

The New York Times give a bit of history regarding Benazir Bhutto:

Ms. Bhutto, 54, returned to Pakistan to present herself as the answer to the nation’s troubles: a tribune of democracy in a state that has been under military rule for eight years, and the leader of the country’s largest opposition political party, founded by her father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, one of Pakistan’s most flamboyant and democratically inclined prime ministers.

But her record in power, and the dance of veils she has deftly performed since her return — one moment standing up to General Musharraf, then next seeming to accommodate him, and never quite revealing her actual intentions — has stirred as much distrust as hope among Pakistanis.

A graduate of Harvard and Oxford, she brought the backing of Washington and London, where she impresses with her political lineage, her considerable charm and her persona as a female Muslim leader.

But with these accomplishments, Ms. Bhutto also brought controversy, and a legacy among Pakistanis as a polarizing figure who during her two turbulent tenures as prime minister, first from 1988 to 1990 and again from 1993 to 1996, often acted imperiously and impulsively.

She faced deep questions about her personal probity in public office, which led to corruption cases against her in Switzerland, Spain and Britain, as well as in Pakistan.

Daily Mail has pictures of Bhutto right before the attack and many photos of the carnage afterwards.

This will do nothing to stabilize Pakistan and will, in fact, destabilize it further as accusations fly and fingers start pointing.

The Pakistan Spectator is reporting clashes between police and supporters:

In Rawalpindi, right in front of Rawalpindi General Hospital where Late Benazir Bhutto died and her dead body is present right now, workers of People’s Party are sitting and weeping loudly. In other areas of Rawalpindi like Faizabad, Saddar and Murree Road, angry crowd is burning shops and vehicles and shouting slogans against the terorists.

On Dusht Road, Peshawar, angry crowd has blocked the main road.

All the roads leading to capital Islamabad have been barricaded and blocked and there are reports of collision of police with protesters.

More photos can be found at Getty Images.

Pakistan is a nuclear power which makes this type of instability a very dangerous situation for the international community as a whole. This also could spark a complete civil war in Pakistan.

Photos of the streets on television news shows protests, rioting and they are saying Bush has been informed and more than 40 other people are being reported as injured.

These are just initial numbers from multiple reports and I will update as more news comes out.

[Update]

Reactions from Presidential Candidates:

Guiliani:

“assassination of Benazir Bhutto underscores a need for the U.S. to increase its efforts to combat terrorism.”

“Her murderers must be brought to justice, and Pakistan must continue the path back to democracy and the rule of law. “Her death is a reminder that terrorism anywhere _ whether in New York, London, Tel-Aviv or Rawalpindi _ is an enemy of freedom. We must redouble our efforts to win the terrorists’ war on us.”

Huckabee from his website:

“I am deeply troubled by the news accounts this morning of Pakistani opposition leader and former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s assassination in a suicide attack. This is devastating news for the people of Pakistan, and my prayers go out to them as we follow developments regarding this dire situation.

”The terrible violence surrounding Pakistan’s upcoming election stands in stark contrast to the peaceful transition of power that we embrace in our country through our Constitution. On this sad day, we are reminded that while our democracy has flaws, it stands as a shining beacon of hope for nations and people around the world who seek peace and opportunity through self-government.”

McCain email release:

“I was deeply saddened today to learn about the death of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto.”

“My deepest condolences go out to the family and supporters of this remarkable woman, an individual who paid the ultimate price for her embrace of moderation and rejection of extremism.

“The death of Benazir Bhutto underscores yet again the grave dangers we face in the world today and particularly in countries like Pakistan, where the forces of moderation are arrayed in a fierce battle against those who embrace violent Islamic extremism.

“Given Pakistan’s strategic location, the international terrorist groups that operate from its soil, and its nuclear arsenal, the future of that country has deep implications for the security of the United States and its allies. America must stand on the right side of this ongoing struggle.

“In my numerous visits to Pakistan — to Islamabad, to Peshawar, even to the tribal areas of Waziristan — I have seen first hand the many challenges that face the political leadership there, challenges so graphically portrayed by today’s tragedy. There are, in Pakistan, brave individuals who seek to lead their country away from extremism and instability and into the light of a better day. America, I believe, must do all we can to support them.”

Romney email release:

“We are still learning the details of today’s tragic events in Pakistan, but this is a stark reminder that America must not only stay on high alert, but remain actively engaged across the globe.”

“Pakistan has long been a key part in the war against extremism and radical jihadists. For those who think Iraq is the sole front in the war on terror, one must look no further than what has happened today. America must show its commitment to stand with all moderate forces across the Islamic world and together face the defining challenge of our generation –- the struggle against violent, radical jihadists.

“At this difficult time, our thoughts and prayers go to the family of Benazir Bhutto, and to all the people of Pakistan who are fighting against extremist forces that would commit such heinous acts as the whole world has witnessed today.”

From the White House Website, President Bush’s reaction:

Laura and I extend our deepest condolences to the family of Benazir Bhutto, to her friends, to her supporters. We send our condolences to the families of the others who were killed in today’s violence. And we send our condolences to all the people of Pakistan on this tragic occasion.

The United States strongly condemns this cowardly act by murderous extremists who are trying to undermine Pakistan’s democracy. Those who committed this crime must be brought to justice. Mrs. Bhutto served her nation twice as Prime Minister and she knew that her return to Pakistan earlier this year put her life at risk. Yet she refused to allow assassins to dictate the course of her country.

We stand with the people of Pakistan in their struggle against the forces of terror and extremism. We urge them to honor Benazir Bhutto’s memory by continuing with the democratic process for which she so bravely gave her life.

One has to wonder what this type of tragedy will mean for our own primaries and caucuses coming up, because it does highlight the need for strength on National Security.

[Update #2] Hat tip to Hot Air for pointing us toward this article reporting that al-Qaeda is tying to lay claim to Bhutto’s murder.

A spokesperson for the al-Qaeda terrorist network has claimed responsibility for the death on Thursday of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

“We terminated the most precious American asset which vowed to defeat [the] mujahadeen,” Al-Qaeda’s commander and main spokesperson Mustafa Abu Al-Yazid told Adnkronos International (AKI) in a phone call from an unknown location, speaking in faltering English. Al-Yazid is the main al-Qaeda commander in Afghanistan.

It is believed that the decision to kill Bhutto, who is the leader of the opposition Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), was made by al-Qaeda No. 2, the Egyptian doctor, Ayman al-Zawahiri in October.

Death squads were allegedly constituted for the mission and ultimately one cell comprising a defunct Lashkar-i-Jhangvi’s Punjabi volunteer succeeded in killing Bhutto.

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Benazir Bhutto Reported Dead: UPDATED with Reactions


~Wake Up America~

[Updates below] Reactions & Al-Qaeda tries to take credit for Bhutto’s death.

NYT, SkyNews, MSNBC, CNN, ABC, and Washington Post are all reporting that Benazir Bhutto has been assassinated and a deadly suicide bombing attack that has killed at least 20 people.

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan – Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated Thursday in a suicide bombing that also killed at least 20 others at a campaign rally, a party aide and a military official said.

“At 6:16 p.m. she expired,” said Wasif Ali Khan, a member of Bhutto’s party who was at Rawalpindi General Hospital where she was taken after the attack.

Evidently she was shot in the neck and chest and as she was getting in a car to leave the rally, the initial reports are claiming. Her husband later told media she was in surgery.

Pakistan is already in a state of emergency declared by Musharaff earlier in the year and there had already been an assassination attempts on Bhutto at a rally in October and again yesterday, police stopped a would-be bomber with explosives around his neck.. There is also speculation that this assassination might postpone the parliamentary elections scheduled for January.

According to ABC, early reports were that Bhutto was safe, but reports have now come out that she is dead.

The Washington Post is reporting that at a different rally, a sniper opened fire on supporters of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, leaving four dead and five injured.

MSNBC reports that Musharaff had forced Bhutto to cancel a previous rally, citing security fears and that security at this rally was tight, “hundreds of riot police manning security checkpoints with metal detectors around what was Bhutto’s first campaign rally since returning from exile two months ago.”

Not tight enough obviously.

The New York Times give a bit of history regarding Benazir Bhutto:

Ms. Bhutto, 54, returned to Pakistan to present herself as the answer to the nation’s troubles: a tribune of democracy in a state that has been under military rule for eight years, and the leader of the country’s largest opposition political party, founded by her father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, one of Pakistan’s most flamboyant and democratically inclined prime ministers.

But her record in power, and the dance of veils she has deftly performed since her return — one moment standing up to General Musharraf, then next seeming to accommodate him, and never quite revealing her actual intentions — has stirred as much distrust as hope among Pakistanis.

A graduate of Harvard and Oxford, she brought the backing of Washington and London, where she impresses with her political lineage, her considerable charm and her persona as a female Muslim leader.

But with these accomplishments, Ms. Bhutto also brought controversy, and a legacy among Pakistanis as a polarizing figure who during her two turbulent tenures as prime minister, first from 1988 to 1990 and again from 1993 to 1996, often acted imperiously and impulsively.

She faced deep questions about her personal probity in public office, which led to corruption cases against her in Switzerland, Spain and Britain, as well as in Pakistan.

Daily Mail has pictures of Bhutto right before the attack and many photos of the carnage afterwards.

This will do nothing to stabilize Pakistan and will, in fact, destabilize it further as accusations fly and fingers start pointing.

The Pakistan Spectator is reporting clashes between police and supporters:

In Rawalpindi, right in front of Rawalpindi General Hospital where Late Benazir Bhutto died and her dead body is present right now, workers of People’s Party are sitting and weeping loudly. In other areas of Rawalpindi like Faizabad, Saddar and Murree Road, angry crowd is burning shops and vehicles and shouting slogans against the terorists.

On Dusht Road, Peshawar, angry crowd has blocked the main road.

All the roads leading to capital Islamabad have been barricaded and blocked and there are reports of collision of police with protesters.

More photos can be found at Getty Images.

Pakistan is a nuclear power which makes this type of instability a very dangerous situation for the international community as a whole. This also could spark a complete civil war in Pakistan.

Photos of the streets on television news shows protests, rioting and they are saying Bush has been informed and more than 40 other people are being reported as injured.

These are just initial numbers from multiple reports and I will update as more news comes out.

[Update]

Reactions from Presidential Candidates:

Guiliani:

“assassination of Benazir Bhutto underscores a need for the U.S. to increase its efforts to combat terrorism.”

“Her murderers must be brought to justice, and Pakistan must continue the path back to democracy and the rule of law. “Her death is a reminder that terrorism anywhere _ whether in New York, London, Tel-Aviv or Rawalpindi _ is an enemy of freedom. We must redouble our efforts to win the terrorists’ war on us.”

Huckabee from his website:

“I am deeply troubled by the news accounts this morning of Pakistani opposition leader and former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s assassination in a suicide attack. This is devastating news for the people of Pakistan, and my prayers go out to them as we follow developments regarding this dire situation.

”The terrible violence surrounding Pakistan’s upcoming election stands in stark contrast to the peaceful transition of power that we embrace in our country through our Constitution. On this sad day, we are reminded that while our democracy has flaws, it stands as a shining beacon of hope for nations and people around the world who seek peace and opportunity through self-government.”

McCain email release:

“I was deeply saddened today to learn about the death of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto.”

“My deepest condolences go out to the family and supporters of this remarkable woman, an individual who paid the ultimate price for her embrace of moderation and rejection of extremism.

“The death of Benazir Bhutto underscores yet again the grave dangers we face in the world today and particularly in countries like Pakistan, where the forces of moderation are arrayed in a fierce battle against those who embrace violent Islamic extremism.

“Given Pakistan’s strategic location, the international terrorist groups that operate from its soil, and its nuclear arsenal, the future of that country has deep implications for the security of the United States and its allies. America must stand on the right side of this ongoing struggle.

“In my numerous visits to Pakistan — to Islamabad, to Peshawar, even to the tribal areas of Waziristan — I have seen first hand the many challenges that face the political leadership there, challenges so graphically portrayed by today’s tragedy. There are, in Pakistan, brave individuals who seek to lead their country away from extremism and instability and into the light of a better day. America, I believe, must do all we can to support them.”

Romney email release:

“We are still learning the details of today’s tragic events in Pakistan, but this is a stark reminder that America must not only stay on high alert, but remain actively engaged across the globe.”

“Pakistan has long been a key part in the war against extremism and radical jihadists. For those who think Iraq is the sole front in the war on terror, one must look no further than what has happened today. America must show its commitment to stand with all moderate forces across the Islamic world and together face the defining challenge of our generation –- the struggle against violent, radical jihadists.

“At this difficult time, our thoughts and prayers go to the family of Benazir Bhutto, and to all the people of Pakistan who are fighting against extremist forces that would commit such heinous acts as the whole world has witnessed today.”

From the White House Website, President Bush’s reaction:

Laura and I extend our deepest condolences to the family of Benazir Bhutto, to her friends, to her supporters. We send our condolences to the families of the others who were killed in today’s violence. And we send our condolences to all the people of Pakistan on this tragic occasion.

The United States strongly condemns this cowardly act by murderous extremists who are trying to undermine Pakistan’s democracy. Those who committed this crime must be brought to justice. Mrs. Bhutto served her nation twice as Prime Minister and she knew that her return to Pakistan earlier this year put her life at risk. Yet she refused to allow assassins to dictate the course of her country.

We stand with the people of Pakistan in their struggle against the forces of terror and extremism. We urge them to honor Benazir Bhutto’s memory by continuing with the democratic process for which she so bravely gave her life.

One has to wonder what this type of tragedy will mean for our own primaries and caucuses coming up, because it does highlight the need for strength on National Security.

[Update #2] Hat tip to Hot Air for pointing us toward this article reporting that al-Qaeda is tying to lay claim to Bhutto’s murder.

A spokesperson for the al-Qaeda terrorist network has claimed responsibility for the death on Thursday of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

“We terminated the most precious American asset which vowed to defeat [the] mujahadeen,” Al-Qaeda’s commander and main spokesperson Mustafa Abu Al-Yazid told Adnkronos International (AKI) in a phone call from an unknown location, speaking in faltering English. Al-Yazid is the main al-Qaeda commander in Afghanistan.

It is believed that the decision to kill Bhutto, who is the leader of the opposition Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), was made by al-Qaeda No. 2, the Egyptian doctor, Ayman al-Zawahiri in October.

Death squads were allegedly constituted for the mission and ultimately one cell comprising a defunct Lashkar-i-Jhangvi’s Punjabi volunteer succeeded in killing Bhutto.

Musharraf Declares Emergency Rule: Martial Law in Pakistan


Via Wake up America

[Update below-Text of the ‘Proclamation of emergency’

Gen. Pervez Musharraf, the Pakistan leader declared Emergency Rule in Pakistan Saturday, suspending the constitution.

Pakistan’s Supreme Court was expected to rule on the legality of General Musharraf’s re-election last month and this appears to be a step to forestall such a ruling.

All independent news outlets in Pakistan were blacked out and then the police force surrounded the Supreme Court building with the justices inside and the chief justice’s home, ordering them to sign a “provisional constitutional order” under threat of dismissal for any that did not sign.

New York Times:

At least 6 of the court’s 11 justices gathered in the court and rejected the order, according to an aide to Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. Aitzaz Ahsan, a prominent lawyer, who led protests against General Musharraf this spring, was detained by the police after saying that opposition groups would announce a schedule on Monday of nationwide strikes and protests.

Before being detained, he accused General Musharraf of “criminal flouting of the Constitution,” adding that “the people and the lawyers cannot be suspended.”

General Musharraf was expected to speak on national television late on Saturday evening. Pakistani government officials said Friday that emergency rule could be justified because of clashes in the past week between security forces and Islamic militants in the Swat Valley, in the North-West Frontier Province, and because of the increasing number of suicide attacks against military and police installations.

As of 9 p.m., Chief Justice Chaudhry and the other justices had gone to their homes, surrounded by police and with the phone lines cut, witnesses and officials said.

Wapo:

On Friday, U.S. officials had tried to pressure Musharraf to avoid declaring emergency rule or martial law. Adm. William J. Fallon, chief of the U.S. Central Command, met with Musharraf and had tried to encourage him to back down from his plan.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Saturday that the United States was “deeply disturbed by reports that Pakistani President Musharraf has taken extra-constitutional actions and has imposed a state of emergency.”

“A state of emergency would be a sharp setback for Pakistani democracy and takes Pakistan off the path toward civilian rule,” he said in a statement. “President Musharraf has stated repeatedly that he will step down as Chief of Army Staff before re-taking the presidential oath of office and has promised to hold elections by January 15th. We expect him to uphold these commitments and urge him to do so immediately.”

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, traveling in Turkey, said the United States had “made clear it does not support extra-constitutional measures because those measures take Pakistan away from the path of democracy and civilian rule.”

“Whatever happens we will be urging a quick return to civilian rule,” she said, and a “return to constitutional order and the commitment to free and fair elections.”

Musharraf won election last month to a new, five-year term as Pakistan’s president. But the Supreme Court is still reviewing whether he was eligible to run in the first place.

Most analysts predict that the court will rule in Musharraf’s favor and allow him to begin his new term. But the case has been dragging on for weeks, and Musharraf’s current term expires Nov. 15.

AP:

Seven of the 17 Supreme Court judges immediately rejected the emergency, which suspended the current constitution. Police blocked entry to the Supreme Court building and later took the deposed chief justice and other judges away in a convoy, witnesses said.

Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, a longtime rival of Musharraf who recently returned from eight years of exile, flew back to Pakistan from Dubai where she was visiting family. She left the airport under police escort; her house was surrounded by paramilitary troops.

The government halted all television transmissions in major cities other than state-controlled Pakistan TV. Telephone service in the capital, Islamabad, was cut.

The order drew swift complaints from the United States and Britain — Musharraf’s main Western allies. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged restraint on all sides and a swift return to democracy in Pakistan.

Via Weasel Zippers, the Earth Times reports:

Islamabad – Pakistan is considering enforcement of Islamic laws in Pakistan’s north-western Swat valley to meet the demands of pro-Taliban militants who briefly seized and then released around 100 security personnel after nine days’ fierce fighting that left more than 200 people dead. “The government is considering the implementation of Sharia law in the view of the demands of the local people,” said Ali Muhammad Jan Aurakzai, governor of the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) in which the valley is situated.

The problem of dealing with a nuclear armed Muslim country, especially one that is home to bin Laden, is we are often forced to choose between the “lesser of two evils” in who we back publicly. This latest action by Musharraf just made that choice more difficult.

Via Hot Air we see that Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto has returned to Pakistan.

Last time she showed up, a couple weeks ago, there was a bombing that killed 140 people and now reported are showing us that paramilitary troops have started deploying in front of her house.

«She is waiting to see if she is going to be arrested or
deported,» Wajid Hasan said after speaking to the former Pakistani prime minister by telephone from London.

Bhutto, seen by many supporters as key to a possible return to democratic rule, flew from United Arab Emirates, where she was visiting family just two weeks after she was targeted by assassins upon her return to Pakistan after eight years in exile.

More on Bhutto from Captain’s Quarters:

The West will not find this to their liking. They had pressed Musharraf to cut a deal with Benazir Bhutto to transition back to democratic processes, hoping that the deal would give them both a stronger political position and marginalize the Islamists. The radicals have their own agenda, however, and have worked to destabilize the political situation before the alliance between Bhutto and Musharraf could have any effect.

A declaration of emergency means the upcoming parliamentary elections will not take place as scheduled in January. That will almost certainly split Bhutto from Musharraf, and it will mean that Musharraf will have to rely on his power base with the Army. That may not hold firm in a protracted fight against Islamist rebels, as the military’s morale has already been questioned. It’s a dangerous situation, and the declaration makes it even more so.

Reported by The Telegraph, Britain is very concerned also:

Britain has expressed grave concern at the move, which effectively postpones any election, saying the country’s future depended on ensuring the rule of law.

The Pakistani leader declared the state of emergency before a crucial Supreme Court ruling on his future as president. The move thrusts his country deeper into political turmoil as it struggles to contain spreading Islamic militancy.

“All friends of Pakistan will be concerned by the turn of events today,” British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said in a statement.

Blogger reactions:

The Long War Journal by Bill Roggio:

It is unclear what effect, if any, the declaration of a state of emergency will have on the Taliban and al Qaeda insurgency in the Northwest Frontier Province. The Associated Press of Pakistan, the official government news outlet, stated both “terrorist attacks and judiciary’s interference led to imposition” of the state of emergency.

“The two page proclamation that came into force at once states that banning of some militant groups took terrorist activities to an unprecedented level of “violent intensity” posing a grave threat to the life and property of the citizens of Pakistan,” the Associated Press of Pakistan news release stated. “The order says that emergency has been imposed in the wake of suicide bombings, explosions of Improvised Explosive Devices, rocket firing and bomb explosions, besides a spate of attacks on State infrastructure and on law enforcement agencies.”

The Pakistani military has been demoralized by the fighting and troops are surrendering or being captured and beheaded by the dozens. The Taliban has fought the military to a standstill in North Waziristan and Swat, and the government continues to seek negotiations.

The Astute Bloggers:

AS REPUGNANT AS A MILITARY JUNTA IN PAKISTAN IS, IT IS FAR BETTER THAN A JIHADIST GOVERNMENT. MUSHARRAF DESERVES AND NEEDS OUR SUPPORT.

* THIS IS STOP-GAP NECESSITY. NOT AN ULTIMATE SOLUTION.

THAT’S BECAUSE PERSONAL FREEDOM AND THE LITERAL KORAN ARE NOT-COMPATIBLE.

IF YOU WANT ONE, THEN YOU HAVE TO FIGHT AGAINST THE OTHER.

Macsmind:

Musharraf must have sniffed out a not too favorable decision and pulled the trigger. This is not good from several standpoints. First there is the critical need we have a for a strong ally in Pakistan, but that relationship Musharraf has always been tenuous with him walking the line between pleasing us and keeping the more radical elements happy at home. Remember that in 2006 he wrote in his book that we had “twisted his arm” into cooperation with us.

Secondly there is the uncoming free elections in January which most likely won’t happen. All of this spells “Not Good” as Musharraf has shown over the last eight years that he intends to stay in power to some extent and he has loyal control of the miliary, oh and by the way “NUKES”.

Washington Times:

Remember that Osama bin Laden is believed to be hiding somewhere on Pakistan’s western frontier. Remember that Pakistan has nuclear weapons. This situation could get scary.

Michael van der Galiën:

TPMCafé where one Chuck Keller wonders – in all his BDS – whether George Bush will copy Musharraf’s behavior. I get a little bit sick of the extremists on both sides, but especially of the extremists on the left who believe that Bush is evil reincarnated. Get a grip people. As for this:

Take care, America. Be careful, Americans. Watch what Musharraf does. You may be looking into the mirror at your future.

No more coffee for you today.

Michael van der Galiën is correct, as Astute Bloggers points out, “THIS SITUATION IS NOT A SURPRISE. PAKISTAN HAS HAD MILITARY RULE FOR MOST OF THE LAST 60 YEARS.”, then we have the fact that Pakistan has had nuclear weapons since before Bush became President, in fact, in 1998, while Clinton was President Pakistan announced it successfully conducted five nuclear tests, the Bush Derangement crowd ignores all of that to blame Bush for the problems in Pakistan……then again, we know that if they stub their toe it is automatically a conspiracy of Bush and Cheney that forced them to be klutzy.

The BDS crowd also is crowing about how Pakistan in more worrisome that Iran is, completing oblivious to the fact that if we allow Iran to attain nuclear weapons, we will be facing these very same problems with Iran AND Pakistan…. talk about clueless idiots.

More Beeeeeeeeeeeeee Deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Esssssssssssssssssss ….these people are seriously mental and need a shrink.

More reactions at memeorandum.

[Update] Musharraf addresses nation:

ISLAMABAD, Nov 3 (Agencies): Chief of Army Staff, General Pervez Musharraf addressed the nation (Saturday) about 1845GMT. President General Pervez Musharraf said in his address that Pakistan was at a dangerous juncture. Extremists, he said had challenged the writ of the government. The country’s unity is in danger without emergency rule, he added. He said terrorism and extremism had reached their limit and his country’s sovereignty was at stake. “Pakistan has reached a dangerous point, and is undergoing an internal crisis. Whatever is happening is because of internal disturbances,” he said in a pre-recorded televised address wearing a Sherwani. “I fear that if timely action is not taken, then God forbid there is a threat to Pakistan’s sovereignty.” He said some media channels had added to uncertainty in the country, but did not specify which. He also accused the courts of setting free 61 men who he said had committed terrorist acts. He said there will be no change in government during the state of emergency; parliament will continue to function. He said that he remained committed to holding parliamentary elections.

More from Michael van der Galiën.

[Update] Text of the ‘Proclamation of emergency’

ISLAMABAD, Nov 3 (APP): Following is the text of the Proclamation of Emergency declared by Chief of the Army Staff General Pervez Musharraf on Saturday:

“WHEREAS there is visible ascendancy in the activities of extremists and incidents of terrorist attacks, including suicide bombings, IED explosions, rocket firing and bomb explosions and the banding together of some militant groups have taken such activities to an unprecedented level of violent intensity posing a grave threat to the life and property of the citizens of Pakistan;

WHEREAS there has also been a spate of attacks on State infrastructure and on law enforcement agencies;

WHEREAS some members of the judiciary are working at cross purposes with the executive nd legislature in the fight against terrorism and extremism thereby weakening the Government and the nation’s resolve and diluting the efficacy of its actions to control this menace;

WHEREAS there has been increasing interference by some members of the judiciary in government policy, adversely affecting economic growth, in particular;

WHEREAS constant interference in executive functions, including but not limited to the control of terrorist activity, economic policy, price controls, downsizing of corporations and urban planning, has weakened the writ of the government; the police force has been completely demoralized and is fast losing its efficacy to fight terrorism and Intelligence Agencies have been thwarted in their activities and prevented from pursuing terrorists;

WHEREAS some hard core militants, extremists, terrorists and suicide bombers, who were arrested and being investigated were ordered to be released. The persons so released have subsequently been involved in heinous terrorist activities, resulting in loss of human life and property. Militants across the country have, thus, been encouraged while law enforcement agencies subdued;

WHEREAS some judges by overstepping the limits of judicial authority have taken over the executive and legislative functions;

WHEREAS the Government is committed to the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law and holds the superior judiciary in high esteem, it is nonetheless of paramount importance that the Honourable Judges confine the scope of their activity to the judicial function and not assume charge of administration;

WHEREAS an important Constitutional institution, the Supreme Judicial Council, has been made entirely irrelevant and non est by a recent order and judges have, thus, made themselves immune from inquiry into their conduct and put themselves beyond accountability;

WHEREAS the humiliating treatment meted to government officials by some members of the judiciary on a routine basis during court proceedings has demoralized the civil bureaucracy and senior government functionaries, to avoid being harassed, prefer inaction;

WHEREAS the law and order situation in the country as well as the economy have been adversely affected and trichotomy of powers eroded;

WHEREAS a situation has thus arisen where the Government of the country cannot be carried on in accordance with the Constitution and as the Constitution provides no solution for this situation, there is no way out except through emergent and extraordinary measures;

AND WHEREAS the situation has been reviewed in meetings with the Prime Minister, Governors of all four Provinces, and with Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, Chiefs of the Armed Forces, Vice-Chief of Army Staff and Corps Commanders of the Pakistan Army;

NOW, THEREFORE, in pursuance of the deliberations and decisions of the said meetings, I General Pervez Musharraf, Chief of the Army Staff, proclaim Emergency throughout Pakistan.
2. I hereby order and proclaim that the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan shall remain in abeyance.
3. This Proclamation shall come into force at once.”

His comments include the statement that inaction at this moment is suicide for Pakistan.

Musharraf Declares Emergency Rule: Martial Law in Pakistan


Via Wake up America

[Update below-Text of the ‘Proclamation of emergency’

Gen. Pervez Musharraf, the Pakistan leader declared Emergency Rule in Pakistan Saturday, suspending the constitution.

Pakistan’s Supreme Court was expected to rule on the legality of General Musharraf’s re-election last month and this appears to be a step to forestall such a ruling.

All independent news outlets in Pakistan were blacked out and then the police force surrounded the Supreme Court building with the justices inside and the chief justice’s home, ordering them to sign a “provisional constitutional order” under threat of dismissal for any that did not sign.

New York Times:

At least 6 of the court’s 11 justices gathered in the court and rejected the order, according to an aide to Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. Aitzaz Ahsan, a prominent lawyer, who led protests against General Musharraf this spring, was detained by the police after saying that opposition groups would announce a schedule on Monday of nationwide strikes and protests.

Before being detained, he accused General Musharraf of “criminal flouting of the Constitution,” adding that “the people and the lawyers cannot be suspended.”

General Musharraf was expected to speak on national television late on Saturday evening. Pakistani government officials said Friday that emergency rule could be justified because of clashes in the past week between security forces and Islamic militants in the Swat Valley, in the North-West Frontier Province, and because of the increasing number of suicide attacks against military and police installations.

As of 9 p.m., Chief Justice Chaudhry and the other justices had gone to their homes, surrounded by police and with the phone lines cut, witnesses and officials said.

Wapo:

On Friday, U.S. officials had tried to pressure Musharraf to avoid declaring emergency rule or martial law. Adm. William J. Fallon, chief of the U.S. Central Command, met with Musharraf and had tried to encourage him to back down from his plan.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Saturday that the United States was “deeply disturbed by reports that Pakistani President Musharraf has taken extra-constitutional actions and has imposed a state of emergency.”

“A state of emergency would be a sharp setback for Pakistani democracy and takes Pakistan off the path toward civilian rule,” he said in a statement. “President Musharraf has stated repeatedly that he will step down as Chief of Army Staff before re-taking the presidential oath of office and has promised to hold elections by January 15th. We expect him to uphold these commitments and urge him to do so immediately.”

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, traveling in Turkey, said the United States had “made clear it does not support extra-constitutional measures because those measures take Pakistan away from the path of democracy and civilian rule.”

“Whatever happens we will be urging a quick return to civilian rule,” she said, and a “return to constitutional order and the commitment to free and fair elections.”

Musharraf won election last month to a new, five-year term as Pakistan’s president. But the Supreme Court is still reviewing whether he was eligible to run in the first place.

Most analysts predict that the court will rule in Musharraf’s favor and allow him to begin his new term. But the case has been dragging on for weeks, and Musharraf’s current term expires Nov. 15.

AP:

Seven of the 17 Supreme Court judges immediately rejected the emergency, which suspended the current constitution. Police blocked entry to the Supreme Court building and later took the deposed chief justice and other judges away in a convoy, witnesses said.

Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, a longtime rival of Musharraf who recently returned from eight years of exile, flew back to Pakistan from Dubai where she was visiting family. She left the airport under police escort; her house was surrounded by paramilitary troops.

The government halted all television transmissions in major cities other than state-controlled Pakistan TV. Telephone service in the capital, Islamabad, was cut.

The order drew swift complaints from the United States and Britain — Musharraf’s main Western allies. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged restraint on all sides and a swift return to democracy in Pakistan.

Via Weasel Zippers, the Earth Times reports:

Islamabad – Pakistan is considering enforcement of Islamic laws in Pakistan’s north-western Swat valley to meet the demands of pro-Taliban militants who briefly seized and then released around 100 security personnel after nine days’ fierce fighting that left more than 200 people dead. “The government is considering the implementation of Sharia law in the view of the demands of the local people,” said Ali Muhammad Jan Aurakzai, governor of the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) in which the valley is situated.

The problem of dealing with a nuclear armed Muslim country, especially one that is home to bin Laden, is we are often forced to choose between the “lesser of two evils” in who we back publicly. This latest action by Musharraf just made that choice more difficult.

Via Hot Air we see that Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto has returned to Pakistan.

Last time she showed up, a couple weeks ago, there was a bombing that killed 140 people and now reported are showing us that paramilitary troops have started deploying in front of her house.

«She is waiting to see if she is going to be arrested or
deported,» Wajid Hasan said after speaking to the former Pakistani prime minister by telephone from London.

Bhutto, seen by many supporters as key to a possible return to democratic rule, flew from United Arab Emirates, where she was visiting family just two weeks after she was targeted by assassins upon her return to Pakistan after eight years in exile.

More on Bhutto from Captain’s Quarters:

The West will not find this to their liking. They had pressed Musharraf to cut a deal with Benazir Bhutto to transition back to democratic processes, hoping that the deal would give them both a stronger political position and marginalize the Islamists. The radicals have their own agenda, however, and have worked to destabilize the political situation before the alliance between Bhutto and Musharraf could have any effect.

A declaration of emergency means the upcoming parliamentary elections will not take place as scheduled in January. That will almost certainly split Bhutto from Musharraf, and it will mean that Musharraf will have to rely on his power base with the Army. That may not hold firm in a protracted fight against Islamist rebels, as the military’s morale has already been questioned. It’s a dangerous situation, and the declaration makes it even more so.

Reported by The Telegraph, Britain is very concerned also:

Britain has expressed grave concern at the move, which effectively postpones any election, saying the country’s future depended on ensuring the rule of law.

The Pakistani leader declared the state of emergency before a crucial Supreme Court ruling on his future as president. The move thrusts his country deeper into political turmoil as it struggles to contain spreading Islamic militancy.

“All friends of Pakistan will be concerned by the turn of events today,” British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said in a statement.

Blogger reactions:

The Long War Journal by Bill Roggio:

It is unclear what effect, if any, the declaration of a state of emergency will have on the Taliban and al Qaeda insurgency in the Northwest Frontier Province. The Associated Press of Pakistan, the official government news outlet, stated both “terrorist attacks and judiciary’s interference led to imposition” of the state of emergency.

“The two page proclamation that came into force at once states that banning of some militant groups took terrorist activities to an unprecedented level of “violent intensity” posing a grave threat to the life and property of the citizens of Pakistan,” the Associated Press of Pakistan news release stated. “The order says that emergency has been imposed in the wake of suicide bombings, explosions of Improvised Explosive Devices, rocket firing and bomb explosions, besides a spate of attacks on State infrastructure and on law enforcement agencies.”

The Pakistani military has been demoralized by the fighting and troops are surrendering or being captured and beheaded by the dozens. The Taliban has fought the military to a standstill in North Waziristan and Swat, and the government continues to seek negotiations.

The Astute Bloggers:

AS REPUGNANT AS A MILITARY JUNTA IN PAKISTAN IS, IT IS FAR BETTER THAN A JIHADIST GOVERNMENT. MUSHARRAF DESERVES AND NEEDS OUR SUPPORT.

* THIS IS STOP-GAP NECESSITY. NOT AN ULTIMATE SOLUTION.

THAT’S BECAUSE PERSONAL FREEDOM AND THE LITERAL KORAN ARE NOT-COMPATIBLE.

IF YOU WANT ONE, THEN YOU HAVE TO FIGHT AGAINST THE OTHER.

Macsmind:

Musharraf must have sniffed out a not too favorable decision and pulled the trigger. This is not good from several standpoints. First there is the critical need we have a for a strong ally in Pakistan, but that relationship Musharraf has always been tenuous with him walking the line between pleasing us and keeping the more radical elements happy at home. Remember that in 2006 he wrote in his book that we had “twisted his arm” into cooperation with us.

Secondly there is the uncoming free elections in January which most likely won’t happen. All of this spells “Not Good” as Musharraf has shown over the last eight years that he intends to stay in power to some extent and he has loyal control of the miliary, oh and by the way “NUKES”.

Washington Times:

Remember that Osama bin Laden is believed to be hiding somewhere on Pakistan’s western frontier. Remember that Pakistan has nuclear weapons. This situation could get scary.

Michael van der Galiën:

TPMCafé where one Chuck Keller wonders – in all his BDS – whether George Bush will copy Musharraf’s behavior. I get a little bit sick of the extremists on both sides, but especially of the extremists on the left who believe that Bush is evil reincarnated. Get a grip people. As for this:

Take care, America. Be careful, Americans. Watch what Musharraf does. You may be looking into the mirror at your future.

No more coffee for you today.

Michael van der Galiën is correct, as Astute Bloggers points out, “THIS SITUATION IS NOT A SURPRISE. PAKISTAN HAS HAD MILITARY RULE FOR MOST OF THE LAST 60 YEARS.”, then we have the fact that Pakistan has had nuclear weapons since before Bush became President, in fact, in 1998, while Clinton was President Pakistan announced it successfully conducted five nuclear tests, the Bush Derangement crowd ignores all of that to blame Bush for the problems in Pakistan……then again, we know that if they stub their toe it is automatically a conspiracy of Bush and Cheney that forced them to be klutzy.

The BDS crowd also is crowing about how Pakistan in more worrisome that Iran is, completing oblivious to the fact that if we allow Iran to attain nuclear weapons, we will be facing these very same problems with Iran AND Pakistan…. talk about clueless idiots.

More Beeeeeeeeeeeeee Deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Esssssssssssssssssss ….these people are seriously mental and need a shrink.

More reactions at memeorandum.

[Update] Musharraf addresses nation:

ISLAMABAD, Nov 3 (Agencies): Chief of Army Staff, General Pervez Musharraf addressed the nation (Saturday) about 1845GMT. President General Pervez Musharraf said in his address that Pakistan was at a dangerous juncture. Extremists, he said had challenged the writ of the government. The country’s unity is in danger without emergency rule, he added. He said terrorism and extremism had reached their limit and his country’s sovereignty was at stake. “Pakistan has reached a dangerous point, and is undergoing an internal crisis. Whatever is happening is because of internal disturbances,” he said in a pre-recorded televised address wearing a Sherwani. “I fear that if timely action is not taken, then God forbid there is a threat to Pakistan’s sovereignty.” He said some media channels had added to uncertainty in the country, but did not specify which. He also accused the courts of setting free 61 men who he said had committed terrorist acts. He said there will be no change in government during the state of emergency; parliament will continue to function. He said that he remained committed to holding parliamentary elections.

More from Michael van der Galiën.

[Update] Text of the ‘Proclamation of emergency’

ISLAMABAD, Nov 3 (APP): Following is the text of the Proclamation of Emergency declared by Chief of the Army Staff General Pervez Musharraf on Saturday:

“WHEREAS there is visible ascendancy in the activities of extremists and incidents of terrorist attacks, including suicide bombings, IED explosions, rocket firing and bomb explosions and the banding together of some militant groups have taken such activities to an unprecedented level of violent intensity posing a grave threat to the life and property of the citizens of Pakistan;

WHEREAS there has also been a spate of attacks on State infrastructure and on law enforcement agencies;

WHEREAS some members of the judiciary are working at cross purposes with the executive nd legislature in the fight against terrorism and extremism thereby weakening the Government and the nation’s resolve and diluting the efficacy of its actions to control this menace;

WHEREAS there has been increasing interference by some members of the judiciary in government policy, adversely affecting economic growth, in particular;

WHEREAS constant interference in executive functions, including but not limited to the control of terrorist activity, economic policy, price controls, downsizing of corporations and urban planning, has weakened the writ of the government; the police force has been completely demoralized and is fast losing its efficacy to fight terrorism and Intelligence Agencies have been thwarted in their activities and prevented from pursuing terrorists;

WHEREAS some hard core militants, extremists, terrorists and suicide bombers, who were arrested and being investigated were ordered to be released. The persons so released have subsequently been involved in heinous terrorist activities, resulting in loss of human life and property. Militants across the country have, thus, been encouraged while law enforcement agencies subdued;

WHEREAS some judges by overstepping the limits of judicial authority have taken over the executive and legislative functions;

WHEREAS the Government is committed to the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law and holds the superior judiciary in high esteem, it is nonetheless of paramount importance that the Honourable Judges confine the scope of their activity to the judicial function and not assume charge of administration;

WHEREAS an important Constitutional institution, the Supreme Judicial Council, has been made entirely irrelevant and non est by a recent order and judges have, thus, made themselves immune from inquiry into their conduct and put themselves beyond accountability;

WHEREAS the humiliating treatment meted to government officials by some members of the judiciary on a routine basis during court proceedings has demoralized the civil bureaucracy and senior government functionaries, to avoid being harassed, prefer inaction;

WHEREAS the law and order situation in the country as well as the economy have been adversely affected and trichotomy of powers eroded;

WHEREAS a situation has thus arisen where the Government of the country cannot be carried on in accordance with the Constitution and as the Constitution provides no solution for this situation, there is no way out except through emergent and extraordinary measures;

AND WHEREAS the situation has been reviewed in meetings with the Prime Minister, Governors of all four Provinces, and with Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, Chiefs of the Armed Forces, Vice-Chief of Army Staff and Corps Commanders of the Pakistan Army;

NOW, THEREFORE, in pursuance of the deliberations and decisions of the said meetings, I General Pervez Musharraf, Chief of the Army Staff, proclaim Emergency throughout Pakistan.
2. I hereby order and proclaim that the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan shall remain in abeyance.
3. This Proclamation shall come into force at once.”

His comments include the statement that inaction at this moment is suicide for Pakistan.