The 21st Century Phenomenon



Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf is running fast out of options. In the North West Border with Afghanistan a civil war is waging on with the local Pashtu tribes, who support the Taliban, Al Qaeda, its leaders and opposes any Pakistani interference in their teritories. The Pakistani army, manned by many devoted Muslims, is suffering hundreds of casulties each month and is not doing better then Nato forces in Afghanistan or USA army in Iraq.

The Lal Mosque crisis put Pervez Musharraf’s regime on direct collision course with his Islamic population, not in the remote borders but in the heart of the central cities of the country.

In the West districts a confrontation between Sunnis and Shiites is going on for years with frequent suicide attacks, resulting in dozens of casualties every month.

The regime went also to a confrontation with the secular English speaking elite, when Pervez Musharraf on 03/09/2007 dismissed the Chief Pakistani judge Iftikhar Chaudhry and put him under home arrest until 05/05/2007.  On 07/20/2007 the Pakistani Supreme Court ruled as illegal Chaudhry’s suspension and ordered an immediate reinstatement. General Pervez Musharraf announced that he “respected” the decision. Although that crisis is seemingly over, the mistrust toward Pervez Musharraf remains.

While the crisis in Pakistan is heating up, Pakistani President Pervez Musharra met on Friday evening, 07/27/2007, the key secular opposition leader, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in Abu Dhabi. Pervez Musharra and Benazir Bhutto talked about a power-sharing deal. Benazir Bhutto conditioned any political deal that Pervez Musharra will give up one of his two posts: the supreme commander of the Army or the presidency, but it seems that Pervez Musharraf is very reluctant to accept the condition and to really share his power in that extent.

USA is pressing hard on Pervez Musharraf to be much more efficient in pursuing Al Qaeda or, as an alternative, to allow USA Special Forces to operate on Pakistani soil. In his situation Pervez Musharra can not response to either of the two USA demands.  The Pakistani intelligence, ISI, has close relations with the Islamic militants in Pakistan and Afghanistan and is the actual godfather of the Taliban as well as Al Qaeda. No wonder that in the current situation Pakistan’s government is considering imposing emergency rule.

An emergency rule will limit the role of the courts, restrict civil liberties and curb freedom of expression. Tariq Azeem, country’s information minister, has said that a declaration of state of emergency was imminent. It remains to be seen whether that emergency rule is not too little and too late to solve the PAKISTAN crisis.

It is impossible to diminish the dangerous situation in Pakistan that is on a verge of chaos and the collapse of its regime in the prospect that Al Qaeda, or any other Islamic Militant organization, can obtain nuclear technology or weapon there or even, in the worst case, to control Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. The PAKISTAN crisis is a real threat to the world and the most dangerous political development in the world after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989.

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