Politically Savvy: Meltdown in Pakistan

In the last couple of weeks, one of the hottest topics in the news has been the impending crisis in Pakistan. On November 3, Pakistan's President General Pervez Musharraf, already being questioned for his ideas on democracy, suspended the constitution of Pakistan and declared emergency rule on account of "threats facing the nation," blaming that on escalating violence caused by Islamist extremists near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. 

Pakistan is supposed to be one of America's key allies in the global war on terror, and Musharraf is seen as America's best bet in getting helped eradicating extremists from the region, but the outlook is not good as many now seen the emergency rule as a desperate attempt by Musharraf to cling to power longer – he was recently re-elected in October but the Supreme Court was still debating on the validity of those elections.

 Under emergency rule, all outside and foreign media has been banned, so Pakistanis currently have no access to what is going on in the outside world. Many college students are organizing protests. About 4000 lawyers and human rights activists have been arrested in the last week, many of them placed in prison or under house arrest. The emergency rule is seen largely as a direct challenge to the Supreme Court, which has frequently disagreed with Musharraf, and the media. Though Pakistanis have only been under emergency rule for just over a week, the entire international community has been in uproar over it, and protests among Pakistani citizens are increasing. As this is one of the most-talked about developing nations in the world right now, this is certainly an issue to keep our eye on in the next few months. 

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