By Farooq Tariq
General Musharaf would have not thought of the political scenario
that has emerged after five days of the martial law he imposed
on 3rd November. His hopes for a normality of the situation have
been dashed even after he has used the most vicious repression
against the advocates and political activists. More unpleasant
surprises will come in future for the military regime who was
used to a rather stable political control until now.
After advocates, now students are emerging on the political opposition
to the military regime. Demonstrations took place on 7th November
2007 in most of the public and private universities mainly in
the main cities of Pakistan. Student power rises from slumber
was the headline of News International on 8th November. All the
courts across Pakistan are on stand still and Pakistan Bar Council
has announced an indefinite strike till the new Provisional Constitutional
Order (PCO) is withdrawn. There have been daily demonstrations
by the advocates across Pakistan. This is an extra ordinary militancy
shown by the middle classes during this period.
Most of the news papers in Pakistan are full of stories of the
arrests, demonstrations and strikes of different actors of the
society. But it is the fifth day; no private television channel
has been allowed to telecast their broadcasting in Pakistan. You
can only watch songs, dances, sports and religious readings on
different channels but no news bulletin is allowed apart from
the official Pakistan Television.
The most surprising opposition to the military regime has come
from Benazir Bhutto. She was in negotiation with Musharraf regime
for a power sharing formula. But the advocate movements intervened
in this unholy alliance forcing Benazir Bhutto to come up openly
against the military regime. Almost half of the arrested advocates
belong to Pakistan Peoples party. It left very little room for
Benazir maneuvering playing games with the regime. She asked the
Pakistan masses to rise up against the martial law of general
Musharraf. Restore the constitution or we will have long
march from Lahore to Islamabad on 13th November she warned
the regime. This resulted the arrests of Pakistan Peoples Party
activists across the country. They were spared by the regime in
the first phase of repression started from 3rd November.
The media organization of the bosses and employees are also joining
the mass movement after unprecedented repression against the electronic
and print media by the regime.
It was a black Monday on 5th November for the stock exchanges
in Pakistan. The stock exchange crash resulted a net loss of four
billion dollars in one day, unprecedented in the history of last
17 years of the exchange.
His close imperialist friends from US, UK and European Union
have been forces to condemn this imposition of emergency at least
in word for the first time since 9/11. Any gross violation of
human rights in Pakistan since 9/11 was always an internal matter
for the US imperialism. Even Australian imperialism is also condemning
the sorry state of affair of Pakistan and terming Musharraf a
dictator for the first time, a fact Pakistani people knew
for eight years. But it seems General Musharraf is trying to show
his angry eyes even to his bosses, the same way the religious
fundamentalists are going out of the control of the military regime
in Pakistan. You can never control a monster for long time
it seems from the action of General Musharraf. Netherlands has
suspended the aid to Pakistan and US is reviewing its relationship
with the military regime according to the reports printed here.
The movement is still growing in all sphere of life. This is
despite an unprecedented level of repression during the first
five days of the emergency; the real name is a martial law. The
police entered the office of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan
arrested over 80 social and political activists who were discussion
their strategy to oppose the military action. This was unheard
in past, that police will enter in this most prestigious independent
building in Lahore. Police went in the buildings of Lahore High
Court and arrested over 700 advocates from the chambers of the
judges, libraries, bar rooms and canteen. This was not done even
under the most brutal martial law of General Zia Ul Haque in the
According to the home ministry in Punjab province, 1734 political
activists, journalists and advocates have been arrested during
the first four days of the martial law. Similar figures are stated
by the administrations of the other three provinces. This is the
most brutal repression of the opponents of the Musharraf regime
during the last eight years. The arrested advocates and political
activists have been charged with Anti Terrorist Act and they have
been sent to far off places from their home towns. No one can
Similar repressive treatment has been the case of those judges
of the Supreme Court and High Courts of Pakistan who have courageously
refused to take oath under the new Provisional Constitutional
Order (PCO). They are put under house arrest and their children
are not allowed to go to schools. Doctors have been refused entries
to their houses where they were called for emergency treatments.
Police is raiding the houses of the advocates and political opponents
of the military regime on regular basis. Pakistan has become a
police and military state in the real sense of the term. Police
is seen every where in the main cities. There has been an increase
of thefts and robberies during the last four days because police
is only deployed to curb the opposition of the regime.
General Musharraf is now having more opposition than ever among
the general public in Pakistan.
Musharraf is loosing his internal and external support on a fast
speed. He has almost lost the support of his most recent friend,
Benazir Bhutto. The religious parties have been forced to de-link
their long lasting relationship with the regime. The old alliances
and formations are in crisis. This is a real crisis of the Pakistan
state. The regime is becoming more isolated day by day. Now, it
is only two political parties supporting the regime, it is Muslim
League Q and Muhajir Qaumi Moveemnt, both are partner of the military
government. But both are hated more and more by ordinary citizens
The path of repression to control the opposition is loosing its
weight day by day. The state can not repress all growing voices
against the regime. The implementation of neo liberal agenda on
a faster speed has been marked by daily price hikes and growing
unemployment. It is brutal rule of the free market resulting the
monopolizing the economy. The growth of capitalist economy has
not touched to the bottom line and the bottom line is over 70
percent of the 160 million populations.
Several activists of Awami Jamhoori Tehreek, the left alliance
of seven political parties and groups are under arrest including
Nisar Shah,the chair person Labour Party Pakistan. Abid Hassan
Minto, the convener of AJT and president of National Workers Party
has asked all the left forces to join the movement and fight the
military regime. The Left is not any more an insignificant force
in Pakistan. The student uprising against the regime is mainly
the work of the left wing forces and radical social activists.
The regime can not last long. The movement is on and is growing.
The advocates unprecedented courage has influenced many and they
are taking the road of active opposition.
The opposition to military regime will be strengthening by the
active solidarity of our friends and comrades outside Pakistan.
The pickets of the Pakistan embassies all over the world will
be one the most effective way of opposition. We are not alone,
we know, but we need to know more of it.