The PoliBlog

The Collective
Thursday, November 8, 2007
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via the BBC: Hundreds held’ in Bhutto raids

The party of Pakistan’s former PM Benazir Bhutto has said more than 700 members were arrested overnight ahead of a planned mass rally on Friday.

They were held under emergency measures brought in on Saturday by President Pervez Musharraf, the party said.

Separately in Karachi, five more people were charged with sedition, which can carry the death penalty.


The five new people in Karachi charged with sedition had allegedly made comments and distributed leaflets against emergency rule.

Hasil Bizinjo and Ayub Qureshi, two leaders of a Baloch grouping, the National Party, Yusuf Mastikhan of the National Workers Party and union leaders Farid Awan and Yusuf Sahi were formally charged on Thursday and remanded in custody for two weeks.

A lawyer for the Baloch politicians, Arif Mohammad Khan, told the BBC the police report charged them with raising anti-government slogans and inciting people to violence in a gathering outside the Karachi Press Club on Tuesday.

But don’t worry: it’s just a temporary state of emergency to fight Islamic radicals! No second coup here, no sir.

Musharraf is promising elections in February. I wonder if all those in jail will be allowed to run? Via the BBC:
Musharraf ‘in February poll vow’

Meanwhile, Spencer Ackerman notes: U.S. Aid to Musharraf is Largely Untraceable Cash Transfers.

And, then there’s this via the LAT: Pakistan’s private TV channels struggle

Broadcasts on Geo’s Urdu-language news channel, like those of more than three dozen independent TV channels, have been blocked by the government since Pakistan’s president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, declared a state of emergency Saturday.

News-hungry viewers looking for the private channels, which normally attract a daily audience in the millions, get only a blue screen and a message: “No signal. Sorry for the inconvenience.”

“It’s so medieval,” Rehmat said. “You think you live in the information age, in the information world, and you wonder, ‘How could this be happening?’ ”

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Filed under: Global Politics | |

1 Comment

  1. FYI: Excellent commentary on Pakistan from Barnett Rubin in a few recent posts at Informed Comment Global Affairs (

    Rubin just returned from Pak in the days since martial law was imposed.

    Comment by MSS — Thursday, November 8, 2007 @ 6:48 pm

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