Wednesday, November 28, 2007

'Our' dictator gets away with it

by Pepe Escobar from Asia Times Online (Hong Kong)

Former star cricketer and Pakistani opposition leader Imran Khan, was arrested by hardcore fundamentalist Jama'at-e-Islami (JI) students at the University of Punjab campus in Lahore and then handed over to Musharraf's police. Even though JI was also against Musharraf's emergency - it wanted at least the restoration of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Iftikhar Chaudhry plus free and fair elections - the JI cannot stand a secularist like Khan ... Before his arrest, Khan pointed out how during eight years under Musharraf, only 1.8% of the country's gross domestic product was spent on education. Khan also stressed how "Pakistan has the worst social indicators in South Asia", according to the UN Human Development Index. "Even Burma [Myanmar] is ahead. On the other hand in 2006, Pakistan spent US$ 5.1 billion on arms" ... As for JI's criticism of Musharraf, it wants Islamic canon law applied in the whole of Pakistan. The JI's leader, Qazi Husain Ahmad – who is also the leader of the MMA (Muttahida Majlis-e Amal - the Islamic Action Council coalition of Islamic parties), was fiercely opposed to the US bombing of Afghanistan in 2001. The MMA holds 20% of Parliament and two key provinces of Pakistan's five: the ultra-tribal North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) and Balochistan.

No comments: