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Thursday, September 28, 2023


Musharraf’s decisions sinister

Pakistani leader Gen. Pervez Musharraf imposed a state of emergency in Pakistan this past weekend, creating once more internal civil unrest. Even the constitution upholding basic human rights has been terminated.

Some readers may wonder about the implications of such a move. Well, looking at the overall picture, the situation goes somewhat like this. Musharraf took over the government in October 1999. Each year, he plays the political field to craftily delay or cancel the democratic elections. A few months back, finally, the nation saw elections only to have the opposition parties walk out on casting their votes. Their stance on the issue was that the general is not qualified to stand in elections with his army as a backup. Though the elections declared him a winner, he has yet to take the presidency oath since the Pakistani judiciary system has to review his case of eligibility as an electoral candidate and potential president.

Thus, he has now imposed the state of emergency as a solution to prevent the judiciary system from making a decision against him, which is of course a very shrewd move, but it has been repeated throughout the nation’√Ñ√¥s history.

I do not support his attempt to undermine the power of the judiciary system. Even though Musharraf is acting as the primary chief of the country, there must be checks and balances in place for any and all ruling individuals or parties. The American government is set up with impressive checks and balances for everyone starting from senators to the president, and the system does not give one man precedent over another when it comes to ruling fairly. Each person should be treated as an individual, stripped of all command, power and prestige when they come before the law.

If that is not the case, then the crumbling country will be in complete chaos, with radicals and extremists taking power in a state of unrest.

The state of emergency complicates issues for Pakistanis not only internally, but for the residents abroad as well. It is a very simple concept; we basically have no rights in Pakistan or overseas. The reason behind that is that our constitution has been forcefully terminated. Now, Musharraf has exquisitely expanded his regime of power and control with basically no one to question his actions.

This has led to the very unjust arrests of nearly all the opposition leaders, political characters and even judges in Pakistan. An estimated 500 political activists were arrested over the weekend, and it is absurd to take away human rights in this fashion. No one has a say, and it’√Ñ√¥s a far cry from what Musharraf pledged the nation in 1999. Never trust politicians, as they say.

But the state of emergency is a problem not only for the nation, but for surrounding countries around the globe as well. If there is unrest in the region, the unpredictability of future events is always a nail-biting experience for the neighboring units. In this situation, if the president does get overthrown, there is no assurance the country can return to a state of peace in a short period.

Nagra, a psychology senior, can be reached via [email protected]

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