President Pervezz Musharraf decided on Saturday to impose a state of emergency on Pakistan. “I fear that if timely action is not taken then God forbid there is a threat to Pakistan’s sovereignty.” He immediately purged the Supreme Court which had been challenging his illegal actions and took action against lawyers who have been leading the opposition to his increasing authoritarian regime. Musharraf had been waiting for the Supreme Court to decide if his latest presidential victory was legal, but apparently he decided that was too risky so martial law, in effect, made the courts powerless to act. White House National Security Council spokesperson, Gordon Johnson, said the action was “very disappointing” and urged Musharraf to hold parliamentary elections in January. However, the Pentagon announced “the declaration does not impact our military support of Pakistan’s efforts in the war on terror.”
Musharraf is using the Bush ploy of always citing terrorism as the rationale for denying human rights. The issue is not terrorism, but Musharraf’s desire for power. How does holding elections interfere with the fight against terrorism? How does closing down the Pakistan Supreme Court aid in the fight against terrorism? There is no connection between fighting militants in northwest Pakistan and the nation;s Supreme Court. President Musharraf fears the courts because they represent opposition to his one man rule.