Unrest in Pakistan

posted at 11:35 am on May 12, 2007 by Bryan

The weakest link (outside the West’s own self-imposed political division and weakness) in the war on terror is teetering.

Fifteen people were killed in Karachi on Saturday in clashes between pro-government and opposition activists, the worst political violence in Pakistan in years, as the suspended top judge arrived to meet supporters.
Article Tools

The suspension of Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry on March 9 has outraged the judiciary and the opposition and has blown up into the most serious challenge to President Pervez Musharraf’s authority since he seized power in 1999.

Opposition leaders said Karachi was under siege by supporters of the pro-government Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), which runs Pakistan’s biggest city.

Saturday was declared a public holiday in Karachi and normal traffic was largely absent from the streets, where thousands of paramilitary troops and police were on patrol.

The protest is billing itself as a pro-democracy movement, which it may well be in that it’s opposing a dictator. But democracy in Pakistan would definitely bring a very mixed bag of ideas to power. The powerful Red Mosque is trying to convert the “democracy” movement to a drive to promote sharia. If it’s good enough for the UK, it’s good enough for Pakistan.

But really, it’s just one dictator among dozens in the world. What can go wrong?

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

I heard at some point the US is keeping an eye on the Pakistani nukes. Let’s hope so, lest an unfriendly “Islamic Revolution” happens there in Paki.

gmoonster on May 12, 2007 at 11:42 AM

This is the exact reason why we prevented democracy from coming in a number of countries

Defector01 on May 12, 2007 at 12:27 PM

It’s probably just a matter of time. Nobody can predict what will happen if Musharraf is overthrown, but I’m sure it will be a disaster. Very bad.

forest on May 12, 2007 at 12:36 PM

forest on May 12, 2007 at 12:36 PM

Agree 100%, it could be just the first in a sequence of very bad events.

infidel4life on May 12, 2007 at 1:04 PM

The political climate in Pakistan and Turkey are both worthy of keeping an eye on right now. The interesting thing is that it seems like most of the unrest is coming from a secular, pro-freedom front and not the Islamists. And in Pakistan Musharraf definitely isn’t a good alley for us or someone to be trusted, but who knows if his “successor” would be better or worse.

All I know is that the US and India have got to have some sort of contingency plan to swoop in very fast if the Islamists take control of that nuclear arsenal. Crazy times indeed. Wonder what all the Democratic leaders think of this situation. Barrak any brilliant summations? Hillary? Nancy? Harry? Yeah…didn’t think so.

Exit Question: Is A.Q. Kahn the most evil man of the 21st Century?

Roark on May 12, 2007 at 2:12 PM

The only thing between a fragile status quo and nuclear war is Musharraf. Or, how I learned to stop worrying and love middle eastern dictators. I wish I could live in 1989 forever. The Soviet Union had collapsed, and Saddam was killing Iranians. Those were the days. I remember thinking, ” we were going to be safe now. Let’s Party.” Even after Gulf War I, I thought nobody is going to mess with America now, we’re back! The post 9/11 realities really are tough to wrap your brain around. I almost understand why so many want to ignore them. Unfortunately, it’s a luxury we don’t have. The liberals were SO discredited after Gulf War I, they looked silly having opposed a military masterpiece. What they’re doing now is an attempt to turn the tables. They do so at our own peril.

Buck Turgidson on May 12, 2007 at 2:27 PM

If Pakistan and Turkey both go sideways, shouldn’t the next move be to support an independent Kurdistan?

Kid from Brooklyn on May 12, 2007 at 4:15 PM

Kid from Brooklyn on May 12, 2007 at 4:15 PM

Absolutely. That’s what we should be doing anyway if we’re not going to man-up and confront Iran for their meddling in Iraq and killing our soldiers.

Roark on May 12, 2007 at 6:52 PM

I think the world’s eyes are glued on the good old USA, they see division here as never before, some of the world’s evil doers believe now is the time to act. Musharraf’s rivals see what they think may be an opening.

It’s going to be a long summer.

Zorro on May 12, 2007 at 8:15 PM

Well if Mushy goes, it’d be the perfect excuse to get really tough on Talibanistan. We wouldn’t have to keep a low profile for fear of upsetting the perpetually outraged Pakistanis.
Plus we’d be doing the “moderates” a favor by wacking the extremists.
Kurdistan affects Iran & Turkey & maybe Syria & Armenia. I don’t think the Pakis have a dog in that hunt.

Iblis on May 13, 2007 at 6:34 PM