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State of Emergency – Pakistan

November 13, 2007

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) director IA Rehman told the BBC that Pakistan was in danger of becoming a “Gestapo state” if such disappearances were to go unchecked.

Human rights workers in Pakistan have demanded the release of one of their leading workers who they say has been detained by government officials. Akhtar Baloch, the Sindh province co-ordinator of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) disappeared in Hyderabad after a commission meeting.

Mr Rehman said the government had not tried to interfere with the work of the commission, but added: “Pakistan is not what it was one year ago… Now there is more pressure from the opposition and in this situation the establishment will become less tolerant.”

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Director, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) I A Rehman

On 4 November 2007, 55 human rights activists including 31 men and 24 women of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) were arrested by the police from its head office in Lahore. They included Director of HRCP Mr. I.A. Rehman

Opposition Activists at Risk of Torture
The Pakistan government should immediately release thousands of lawyers and opposition activists detained across the country in a crackdown after military ruler General Pervez Musharraf suspended the constitution and imposed a state of emergency on November 3, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch has received credible reports from government officials requesting anonymity that bar association officials and lawyers have been mistreated in detention.

Rashid Rehman, Human Rights Lawyer, hears stories such as (rape victim) Najma’s and fears what lies ahead for Pakistan. In the car on his way back to his office in the Punjabi city of Multan, he sits in the dark, looking out the window at the feeble lights of passing villages. When he speaks, he is calm and clear. “When government fails them, people get angry,” he says. “They lose faith in the system and look for alternatives. Think how easy it would be for the Islamists—or Taliban or al Qaeda—to go to the brothers of this girl now and say, ‘What happened to your family is not justice. This man dishonored your sister, he dishonored your father and your family name. Join us and we will help you get justice. We will make him pay.’ When citizens are denied their basic human rights, they become radicalized. When people are powerless, they are easily manipulated. This is what worries me the most.” ” Rashid Rehman, is currently detained HRCP, Human Rights Lawyer.

The world is not alarmed at the despicable actions occurring anywhere, but in their own back yard. Only when a threat spills over into their territory do they take notice. This Pakistani Democracy the United States and Britain helped to create is falling apart.

“People look at Musharraf and they see a US puppet who’s willing to declare war on fellow Muslims to satisfy America.” Javed Ibrahim Paracha, Former Member of Parlaiment.

Former member of the National Assembly and Chairman World Jehad Council, Javed Ibrahim Paracha had just returned from the Peshawar High Court, after defending Osama Bin Laden’s Quranic teacher. Paracha is now a tribal leader from a village called Dhara Dhar, near Tora Bora in Afghanistan. As the head of the World Prisoners Relief Fund, he had a reputation for repatriating suspected Al Qaeda militants to their native countries.

Journalist, Nafisa Hoodbhoy asked, “Where is Osama Bin Laden?”

Paracha had been expecting the question. Enjoying the dramatic effect of his narrative, he told me that a government official had indicated to him that two of Bin Laden’s children – from multiple marriages – were studying in a school in Hyderabad. “Why he’s in Washington, where you are!”

Today, the resurgence of the Taliban gives credence to the fact that U.S. and Pakistan military policies have served to strengthen intolerance and promote Islamic militancy in the region. That should give policy makers pause to reflect on just where the U.S. and Pakistan have gone wrong in the ‘War on Terror.’

goldenoil.gif American Politics, American Economics, American Delusions have wrought the whirlwind. Oil is what Gold used to be. Reason dies at the hand of greed. This time the planet is at stake.

******* UPDATE: US preparing for post-Musharraf Pakistan *******

* US papers say BB (Bhutto) still open to power-sharing deal with Musharraf
* Musharraf knows elections under emergency would not seem credible

WASHINGTON: The US appears to be preparing for different eventualities as the political crisis in Pakistan deepens, according to a report in the New Times on Tuesday.

One US official told the newspaper, “Nobody is ready to cut him (President General Pervez Musharraf) off at the knees yet.” But another official, who requested anonymity because he was not authorised to speak publicly on the issue, said that many people within the administration were worried that General Musharraf’s missteps would soon erode his base at home that he could be forced to give up power.”

The US is finally looking ahead to possible outcomes. What “possible” responses is the US planning. I’m afraid to guess …

 

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