Pakistan has been under martial law for about a week now, thanks to its president, Pervez Musharraf. It’s unclear just what, exactly, is going on in Pakistan, but Musharraf declared a state of emergency last week and instituted martial law, citing a rise in Islamic extremism and its effect on the judiciary. The fact that the Pakistani judiciary was investigating the validity of Musharraf’s election had no bearing on the declaration, I’m sure.
As someone who takes a rather dim view on Islamic extremism, I was initially willing to give Musharraf the benefit of the doubt…but as time goes on, it’s looking more and more like President Musharraf is merely trying to secure his power, with or without the people’s consent. Apparently, Musharraf promised that elections would be held by mid-January, and that he would step down as chief of Pakistan’s army (he used to be known as General Musharraf). Now, Musharraf has buckled down on protesters, and it looks like elections could be delayed by up to a year.
Whether Musharraf will actually live up to his promises has yet to be seen…but the longer the situation goes on in Pakistan, the more it looks like Musharraf is just trying to set himself up as a dictator.