06 November 2007

Musharraf blames extremists for emergency

Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf has blamed "the activities of extremists" for the difficult state Pakistan has found itself in, which, in his view, necessitates the state of emergency currently in force there. He also accused "some members of the judiciary" of "working at cross purposes with the executive and legislature in the fight against terrorism and extremism" (BBC).

Now the problem with this way of describing things is that it completely takes the blame off the executive, headed by none other than Musharraf himself. His prevarication with dealing with the extremists is what got Pakistan into this mess in the first place, in my view (not to mention the creation of the Taliban by Pakistan in the first place).

It's not by concentrating more and more power in the hands of a dictator that one deals with a dangerous situation confronting a country. To succeed in the fight against Talibanisation, Pakistan needs consensus. Imposing virtual martial law is highly unlikely to produce one. I think it's time for Musharraf to admit his failure and hand the country back to the civilian politicians.

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