From Academics for Freedom:
I’ve been saying for some time that Pakistan is the most complex country we deal with – and that a crisis was just waiting to happen. On Saturday night, it did
President Musharraf staged a coup against his own government. He suspended the constitution, imposed de-facto martial law, postponed elections indefinitely, and arrested hundreds of lawyers, journalists, and human rights activists.
He took these steps the day after Secretary Rice and the commander of all American forces in the region appealed to Musharraf not to take them.
America has a huge stake in the outcome of this crisis – and in the path Pakistan follows in the months and years to come.
Pakistan has strong democratic traditions and a large, moderate majority. But that moderate majority must have a voice in the system and an outlet with elections. If not, moderates may find that they have no choice but to make common cause with extremists, just as the Shah’s opponents did in Iran three decades ago.
More here. Also see this article by Samia Altaf. [Thanks to Fawad Zakaria.]