Thursday, December 09, 2004

MUSHARRAF FLASHBACK From the Inter-Press Service, June 25, 2001:
In a statement, the U.S. State Department said it felt "very disappointed that Pakistan has taken another turn away from democracy rather than, as we had hoped, a step toward democracy."

This referred to the removal of the elected President, Muhammad Rafiq Tarar, a nominee of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Tarar's removal meant that Musharraf was now chief executive, army chief and president as well.

Additionally, Pakistan's parliament, which had remained suspended after the Oct. 12, 1999 coup, was finally dissolved as a prelude, said the government, to "holding of general elections as stipulated by the Supreme Court by October 2002."

State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said this action "severely undermines Pakistan's constitutional order and casts Pakistan as a country ruled by decree rather than by democratic process."

CONTRAPOSITIVE is edited by Dan Aibel. Dan's a playwright. He lives in New York City.