The 21st Century Phenomenon


At least seven people have been killed and 20 injured in a late-night explosion, on Tuesday 08/26/2008, at a street cafe on the outskirts of Pakistan’s capital which police suspect to be a bomb attack. The event is just a small reminder of the ongoing crisis in Pakistan.

Last week, when President Pervez Musharraf resigned, the main question was if the two leading parties: Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N and the ruling PPP party, led by Asif Ali Zardari, Benazir Bhutto’s widower, can agree on any political platform other than to impeach the president (see – Testing Democracy).

For the moment Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N party announced its withdrawal from the coalition led by PPP ruling party on the issue of the 60 judges, including the Chief Pakistani judge Iftikhar Chaudhry, who were dismissed and arrested, in early 2007 by Pervez Musharraf.  

All the judges were released on the first day when the new government was sworn in, in early 03/2008. The question if the judges in high ranks are able to judge fairly in questions related to Pervez Musharraf’s regime remains open. Many of the dismissed judges criticized sharply and publicly Perves Musharraf and were engaged in political activity to topple his regime. Nawaz Sharif wants them back in office now so the judicial system will turn to be an anti Musharraf establishment, while Asif Ali Zardari, wants to keep the judicial system out of the political game (see – Failing Democracy).  

The subject of the dismiss judges is, basically, a secondary issue but it emphasizes the deep disagreement between the two leading parties of Pakistan.

Nawaz Sharif was the PM of Pakistan from 11/01/1990-07/18/1993 and the second time from 02/17/1997-10/12/1999, when he was toppled by Gen’ Pervez Musharraf’s military coup. He was a strong supporter of the Taliban in Afghanistan and hundreds of Pakistani Intelligence – ISI and army agents trained and directed the Taliban to take over Afghanistan in the last stage of the Afghan civil war in 1998.  Nawaz Sharif enabled the Pakistani intelligence – ISI to form a conglomerate of Islamic terror organizations in order to lash a reign of terror in India over the Kashmir dispute.

Basically Nawaz Sharif is an Islamist seeking to reach out to radical Islamist leaders in Pakistan in order to agree on a new national charter to restore national unity and solve the internal blood shed, while the Popular Pakistani Party – PPP aims to deepen Western style democracy in Pakistan’s society, to step up the war on Muslim extremists and radicalization of the country. Benazir Bhutto, when she was still alive, even said she will allow, under some conditions, American troops to operate inside Pakistan in the general context of cooperation in the war on terror.

Indeed Asif Ali Zardari said in a BBC interview, on Sunday 08/24/2008, that Taliban have “the upper hand” and should be put on the list of banned organizations. He also described the Taliban militancy as an insurgency against Pakistan legitimate authorities (see – .Swat 08.25.08) The next day, the Taliban was banned legally in Pakistan in an unprecedented decision which is a declaration of CIVIL WAR against the Taliban.

For the moment it seems that the Pakistani newly elected democratic regime is in limbo, partially paralyzed and facing extreme difficulties to cope with Pakistan problems.


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