Trouble in Pakistan

Pakistan looks like it may be on the brink:On Thursday morning as Pakistan's Defence Minister was preparing to board a flight to China for an official visit, he was detained by Pakistani security officials and was told he had been barred from leaving the country. An altercation ensued, but the country's top civilian defence official was told by the police and soldiers that they take orders from senior generals and judges, not government ministers.

Minister Ahmad Mukhtar was told by the security officials that they were acting on instructions from the National Accountability Bureau, an arm of Pakistan's intelligence service created by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf to harass political opponents with corruption charges. The Defence Minister was told his name was on an `Exit Control List' even though he has never been convicted of a crime. Clearly, Pakistan has entered a decisive stage. Imagine the U.S. Defence Secretary being detained by U.S. marshals at JFK airport... he cannot leave the country.

What was bizarre about this development is that although it was Pakistani's Interior Ministry that was supposed to have issued the orders, the Interior Minister himself was named as someone not allowed to travel abroad without special permission. Clearly the administration of the government in Islamabad has been taken over by plainclothes military intelligence officials.

A coup by any other name is still a coup.

Its tough figuring out who is in control-- who is calling the shots? Following the above incident, the "Chairman National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Naveed Ahsan Friday telephoned Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar and apologised over the embarrassment caused to the minister." At the same time, there's been a surge of harassment of U.S. officials inside Pakistan.

Tags: pakistan (all tags)

Comments

9 Comments

ah

This made me imagine Rumsfeld being stopped. Sigh.

by John DE 2009-12-18 07:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Trouble in Pakistan

The Pakistan military controls almost every facet in the country - they're a parallel government. Yes some of the departments have civilian heads, but they have little authority or respect. They are in essence figure-heads.

by vecky 2009-12-18 07:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Trouble in Pakistan

Pakistani coups seem to involve air travel:

How the 1999 Pakistan coup unfolded.

The Musharaff coup unfolded with Musharaff in the air racing back from Colombo, Sri Lanka to avoid his sacking.

by Charles Lemos 2009-12-18 07:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Trouble in Pakistan

There is a video report at Times of India.

It reports that Zardari is denying a coup but implies that he is "cornered."

by Charles Lemos 2009-12-18 07:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Trouble in Pakistan

the Pakistani judiciary is acting in concert with the anti-Zardari media and the military intelligence apparatus.

Instead of letting the cases return to court and be decided individually, an attempt is being made to create frenzy against the elected government that can result in its overthrow. Some Pakistani judges have consistently sided with anti-western Jihadis and share their hatred of Zardari and his pro-U.S. civilian disposition.

More from the link that Jerome posted. There's nothing in the Pakistani press but that's not surprising. I'll check Pakistani blogs in a moment.

by Charles Lemos 2009-12-18 08:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Trouble in Pakistan

I wonder if the various threats to Pakistani stability make nuclear war more likely than the Cold War ever did? Charles, what do you think?

by Nathan Empsall 2009-12-18 09:41PM | 0 recs
Re: The real story

http://in.reuters.com/articlePrint?artic leId=INIndia-44803720091217

Synopsis:
 In order to placate the Bush Administration's and other concerned parties' wish that Benazir Bhutto be allowed to return and rejoin the political scene in Pakistan. Bhutto returned to Pakistan on 18 October 2007, after reaching an understanding with President Pervez Musharraf by which she was granted amnesty and all corruption charges were withdrawn. Problem was 8,000 others charged with corruption also had their cases dismissed. The Supreme Court of Pakistan just undid those amnesties and reinstated the charges.

Many current officials elected and appointed, including Benazir Bhutto's husband, the current President, are facing charges under the reversal.
No wonder there's a shitstorm. It does complicate matters for US Pakistan relations and the war effort.

A complicated story. No Obama failure here folks. We can move along.

by QTG 2009-12-19 06:43AM | 0 recs
Re: The real story

lol on that last line. But actually, if you click through the link you'll see they blame the US.

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-12-19 07:33AM | 0 recs
Inevitable...

this is the palace intrigue stage !!

by Ravi Verma 2009-12-19 08:39AM | 0 recs

Diaries

Advertise Blogads