Friday, June 01, 2007

General Injustice

The government banned demonstrations in Pakistan's capital Friday, the latest effort to quell mounting political turmoil over President Gen. Pervez Musharraf's decision to suspend the chief justice. Thousands of Pakistanis have joined a series of protests since the March 9 ouster of Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry, accusing Musharraf of trying to sideline the independent-minded judge before elections this year. Riots erupted last month when authorities stopped Chaudhry from leading a demonstration in the city of Karachi, leaving more than 40 people dead. - Washington Post, 01 June 2007
Then, on ‘Black Saturday’, armed members of opposing political parties converted the streets of Karachi into a battle zone. Almost 50 were dead by the end of the carnage and hundreds wounded. The Karachi killings became a sideshow in the running battle of nerves between General Pervez Musharraf and Iftikhar Chaudhry, the chief justice he is attempting to oust. A lawyer-led mass movement has emerged against the president, with the chief justice as an icon and rallying point. Despite heavy-handed police action against lawyers’ demonstrations and fundamentalist-engineered diversions, the tide of support for Chaudhry has not slowed. -

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