On the State of Emergency in Pakistan

Tariq Ali in Counterpunch:

For anyone marinated in the history of Pakistan yesterday’s decision by the military to impose a State of Emergency will hardly comes as a surprise. Martial Law in this country has become an antibiotic: in order to obtain the same results one has to keep doubling the doses. What has taken place is a coup within a coup.

General Pervaiz Musharraf ruled the country with a civilian façade, but his power base was limited to the Army. And it was the Army Chief of Staff who declared the emergency, suspended the 1973 Constitution, took all non-government TV channels off the air, jammed the mobile phone networks, surrounded the Supreme Court with paramilitary units, dismissed the Chief Justice, arrested the President of the Bar association and the civil rights activists of the Human Right Commission of Pakistan, thus inaugurating yet another shabby period in the country history.

Why? They feared that a Supreme Court judgement due next week might make it impossible for Musharraf to contest the elections.