The Dictatorship of "Freedom"
[col. writ. 11/4/07]
(c) '07 Mumia Abu-Jamal
With shining boots, cadenced marches and loaded arms, the Pakistan Army entered the country's Supreme Court and announced martial law.
The problem, it seems, is that the Pakistani judiciary was growing a tad too independent for President-General Pervez Musharraf.
The fig leaf of this pretend democracy has been discarded; it is a military dictatorship plain and simple.
Nor should we be surprised!
A month ago, when Pakistani opposition leader, Nawaz Sharif tried to return home, he was met by a wall of military resistance that wouldn't allow him to enter the country that he once led as prime minister.
While en route to Pakistan, in London's Heathrow Airport, Sharif described his imminent return thus: "It's a final battle now between dictatorship and democracy." Sharif added, "Civil society is there now struggling for the restoration of the rule of law. The judiciary is today independent. I think it is about time that we put an end to this menace of dictatorship because it has inflicted so much damage to my country." (New York Times, 9/11/07, p.A8.)
Denied his court ordered right of return, Sharif told reporters at the Pakistan airport, "Mr. Musharraf does not believe in the rule of law. He tries to bulldoze everything that comes in his way." (NYT, 9/11/07)
Observers say Musharraf's moves comes just as the court was about to rule on his right to stand in a recent election.
As Nawaz Sharif noted a month ago, "President Bush is somehow supporting an individual who today has become a symbol of hatred in Pakistan, a man whom everybody in Pakistan wants to get rid of." Added Sharif, " I don't know why Mr. Bush is still supporting this man. He must not equate Pakistan with Mr. Musharraf. He should have this friendship with the people of Pakistan, not with an individual who is becoming more and more unpopular in the country."