Negroponte on the Hill: Pakistan’s future is too vital to our interests to ignore or downgrade

NOTE: Bush in joint press conference with France’s Sarkozy speaks of his telephone conversation with Musharraf in which he told him, “You can’t be the president and the head of the military at the same time.” He added that extremism can’t be beaten with extremist tactics.


Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte just completed his testimony on Pakistan before the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Here are the highlights:

  • Pakistan is a country vital to U.S. interests;
  • Cooperation with Pakistan is critical to U.S. and NATO’s cause in Afghanistan and contributes heavily to efforts in war on terror;
  • Pakistan was “founded on a democratic mandate” and has made “fitful” progress toward the idea of democratic civilian rule. It “seemed” to be on that path till recently.
  • State “strongly counseled against” the imposition of emergency rule but Pakistan’s leadership chose not to follow that advice.
  • Over time the U.S.-Pakistan relationship has been tumultuous, but after 9/11 Musharraf decided to ally with us. We are together with the Pakistanis in the fight against al-Qaeda.
  • Many Pakistanis have said that the U.S. has not been a consistent partner. There is, however, no question that Americans have a stake in Pakistan. There is no question that the U.S. should be closely engaged in helping the Pakistani people fight violent extremism and shaping a democratic Pakistan.
  • We strongly disagree with the current government’s decisions, but this should not translate into disengagement.
  • Since 9/11:
    • the Pakistani government has arrested or killed more al-Qaeda and Taliban than any other country;
    • Pakistan’s economy has grown rapidly;
    • civil society and media have grown “events of of recent days notwithstanding”;
      • There is a more participatory national debate;
      • Human rights and civil society organizations are more prominent than in the past;
      • Pakistan has become a more moderate and prosperous country since Musharraf has come into power;
      • But only civilian democracy can secure a prosperous future for Pakistan.
  • “We” urge Musharraf to resign as chief of army staff before he takes the oath for a second term;
  • It won’t be a full transition to democracy, but an important step on that path;
  • The U.S. stands with the Pakistani people in urging the government to commit to holding elections as planned. We are doing our part through assistance program to improve electoral mechanisms;
  • Thanks to bi-partisan congressional support, assistance to Pakistan is accomplishing a great deal for the U.S. and the Pakistani people:
    • Earthquake assistance has had a positive impact generating goodwill that has lasted to this day;
    • FATA aid package will permanently open this challenged environment to government and opportunity; there are a wide range of programs for that area:
      • Security and law enforcement training;
      • Developmental assistance;
      • Democracy and human rights support;
      • Infrastructural aid;
    • This assistance and the Reconstruction Opportunity Zone legislation are critical to achieving our objectives in the war on terror.
  • Military training and Fulbright exchange programs are building essential bridges;
  • Cutting off these programs would send a negative signal to the Pakistani people;
  • Long-term engagement is the only option for the United States;
  • The U.S. cannot afford to have the on-again off-again relationship of the past;
  • Pakistan’s future is too vital to our interests to ignore or downgrade;
  • The challenge is to deal with the government that supports the Pakistani people and strengthens moderate center against violent extremism;
  • With strong Congressional support for the U.S.-Pakistan relationship since 2001, we’ve helped the Pakistanis move down the path of moderation, stability, democracy, and prosperity. We’re asking for Congressional support to renew our commitment to long-term partnership with the Pakistani people;
  • There is not a mission more deserving of our considered patience and steady engagement.

Q&A responses:

  • “I believe they [the Pakistani military] have their nuclear weapons under effective control.”
  • Electoral timetable should be adhered to. If the emergency measures are lifted in the near future, then there is still time to organize “reasonably fair and free elections.” The longer this emergency situation goes on, the more difficult the political atmosphere will become.
  • Strong preference is that the government terminate emergency ASAP and get country back on track. Sooner that happens, not only the better for Pakistan’s political development, but also less likely that some agonizing reappraisal of assistance program would be required.
  • A number of statutes govern assistance to Pakistan. State hasn’t really gotten to the point of looking to alternatives. Just cataloging of assistance programs and what is or might not be impacted by statues.
  • Judgment at the moment: There’s nothing that will be automatically triggered by the current situation. Everything is covered at the moment by appropriate waivers. But if the situation continues, it will undercut the political support for assistance, or certain aspects of it.
  • U.S. has a Pakistan policy, not a Musharraf policy. It’s not about one leader. It’s about: helping a country; helping institutions transition, electoral assistance; and developing FATA; support of Pakistani army and government in supporting us in Afghanistan.
  • “Basically the political future of Pakistan is for the people of Pakistan to decide.”
  • The longer this situation goes on the more difficult it is going to become.
  • “In the historical record, there were times that they [India] did try to take advantage of political instability in Pakistan” but don’t appear to be doing that now.”
  • If Musharraf doesn’t take off the uniform, there will be principal political repercussions inside Pakistan.
  • On Nawaz Sharif’s exile: That’s an issue between the government of Pakistan and Mr. Sharif. Apparently committed to staying out of the country for a decade – we’ll just have to see how that issue evolves.
  • Extremists are not many in number, but use more extreme methods and are dangerous in that regard.

Congressmen comments:

  • William Delahunt interrupted Negroponte and said, waving his finger and apparently angry, “I think the Pakistani people are on our side.”
  • Dana Rohrabacher: “It’s time to drop this guy [Musharraf]” and side with the moderates.
  • Elliot Engel: Nawaz Sharif also needs to come back.
  • Gary Ackerman: Musharraf a “necessary thug.”
  • Dan Burton: If we abandon Musharraf, same thing that happned in Iran with the Shah will happen in a nuclear Pakistan.
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Musharraf Declares State of Emergency

  • Musharraf suspends constitution, declares emergency rule, and imposes Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO)
  • Transmission of news channels shut down in Pakistan
  • Supreme Court Chief Justice sacked, arrested and replaced with Musharraf loyalist
  • Over 1500 civilians arrested
  • Senior figures jailed or house arrested:
    • Lawyers’ movement: Aitzaz Ahsan, Munir Malik, Ali Ahmad Kurd, Tariq Mehmood, Ikram Chaudhry, Syed Muhammad Shah, and Ahsan Bhon
    • Tehreek-e Insaf: Imran Khan (has reportedly gone into hiding after suggesting to AFP that Musharraf’s moves are treason punishable by death), Abdul Samad Shaikh, and Badar Soomro
    • PML-N: Javed Hashmi, Khawaja Asif, Afzal Gujjar, and Zahid Rafiq Butt
    • Human rights advocates: Asma Jehangir and I.A. Rehman
    • Ethnic politicians: Mehmood Khan Achakzai, Asfandyar Wali, and Hadi Bhat
    • Pro-jihadi voices: Hameed Gul
    • Seven SC justices declare PCO unconstitutional [text of statement]
    • PCO excerpt: “No court including the Supreme Court, the Federal Shariat Court, and the High Courts, and any tribunal or other authority shall call or permit to be called in question this Order.”
    • State Department “deeply disturbed” by declaration of emergency rule
    • Condoleeza Rice: ER is “highly regrettable”; Expressed opposition to emergency rule on Friday
    • Benazir Bhutto returns to Karachi from Dubai
    • Musharraf’s address to nation:
      • Inaction would be suicide for Pakistan
      • Need balance of powers between three branches of government;
      • Judiciary superseded its role and stifled counterterrorism efforts
      • All assemblies, chief ministers and governors will remain in place
      • Compares his extraconstitutional moves to those of Abraham Lincoln during U.S. Civil War
    • Two new ordinances censoring media content
    • Mushahid Hussain opposes emergency rule; Says 20 out of 25 members of Musharraf’s inner circle voted for emergency rule
    • Live Pakistani television available on our site
    • Texts of Emergency Proclamation, Provisional Constitutional Order, and State Department statement below
    • NYT: CENTOM Chief Adm. William Fallon yesterday “told General Musharraf and his top generals in a meeting here that declaring emergency rule would jeopardize American financial support for the Pakistani military.”
    • Pentagon spokesperson: No U.S. plans to suspend military aid to Pakistan
    • Shaukat Aziz: Elections could be delayed for up to a year; 500 “preventative” arrests made
    • Condoleeza Rice: U.S. will review aid to Pakistan
    • Updates posted below

    Pakistan’s ‘tumultuous two weeks‘ has begun with a bang. A state of emergency has been declared by Pervez Musharraf. He is expected to address the country at approximately 11PM Pakistan Standard Time/2PM New York.

    The constitution has been suspended and the country is being run under a Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO). Seven judges of the Supreme Court — along with the media, a primary target of the constitutional suspension — have declared the PCO unconstitutional. Musharraf has sacked Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry and another justice, Abdul Hameed Dogar (pictured on the left) — a Musharraf loyalist — has taken the oath to replace him. At this point, Dogar has only been joined by 3-4 other justices. Similar developments are occurring with provincial high courts.

    The army has taken control of the Supreme Court, surrounded the buildings of major news stations, and arrested or detained many politicians. Cable television operators have been ordered to shut the transmission of news channels. Some Pakistani channels (such as GEO), broadcast out of Dubai and so they are available to viewers not utilizing Pakistani cable (e.g. Internet/satellite in and outside of Pakistan).

    In his proclamation of emergency (full text below), Musharraf — identifying himself as chief of army staff, not president — cites the rising violence in the country as the basis for his imposing martial law. However, the text holds the judiciary most culpable for the rise in violence. It lambastes them for allegedly encroaching upon the territory of the legislative and executive branches, stating, “Whereas some members of the judiciary are working at cross purposes with the executive and legislature in the fight against terrorism and extremism, thereby weakening the government and the nation’s resolve and diluting the efficacy of its actions to control this menace.”

    But it lists a litany of other alleged unrelated offenses by the judiciary, including: “interference by some members of the judiciary in government policy, adversely affecting economic growth.” Here and elsewhere in the text, they are referring to the Supreme Court’s opposition to the privatization of Pakistan Steel Mills, among other acts. Today’s events, therefore, extend beyond terror — even by Musharraf’s own admission. The declaration of emergency rule are a challenge to the separation of powers and independence of the judiciary.

    Yesterday, I wrote that by mid-November, “we might find out what lessons [Musharraf has] learned from the strife of the past year. “

    I asked: “Will he conclude that the solution involves not a greater centralization of power but an efficient distribution of labor between the military, popular civilian politicians, and the judiciary? Will he conclude that his greatest threat is not the country’s civilian politicians or judiciary, but vigilantees who cut off the heads of Pakistani soldiers and incinerate civilians in the streets?”

    We apparently have our answers in advance. The answers seem to be, quite sadly, “No” and “No.”

    UPDATE: 2:40PM – Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has returned to Karachi from Dubai. Her plane is currently on a tarmac at Karachi’s Quaid-e Azam International Airport. Approximately 100 security personnel have surrounded her Karachi home. It is unclear as to whether she will be sent abroad, arrested or detained, or permitted to travel somewhat freely.

    UPDATE: 2:42PM – List of arrested or detained political, judicial, and social figures:

    • Iftikhar Chaudhry (Supreme Court Chief Justice);
    • Aitzaz Ahsan (People’s Party Senator and President of the Supreme Court Bar Association);
    • Imran Khan (President, Tehreek-e Insaaf);
    • Various Baloch and Sindhi nationalist leaders.

    UPDATE: 2:48PM – U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice tells CNN that Musharraf’s declaration of emergency rule is “highly regrettable.”

    UPDATE: 2:50PM – Musharraf is addressing the country on the state-run Pakistan Television (PTV). Address is simulcast on non-news channels.

    UPDATE: 2:53PM – Musharraf’s address: Today’s events are the result of Pakistan’s internal discord. Says his guiding consideration for whatever action he has and will take is “Sub se pahlay Pakistan” (Pakistan first).

    UPDATE: 2:55PM – Musharraf’s address: Terror attacks are widespread. In major cities across Pakistan. Terrorists don’t fear law enforcement agencies. They’re very confident. They’re in settled areas, such as Swat. Even in Islamabad, “the heart of Pakistan…the capital of Pakistan.” Militants have created a “government within the government” challenging the writ of the central government.

    UPDATE: 2:57PM – Musharraf’s address: State of governance is “semi-paralysis.” Government officials have been “dishonored” by the judiciary. There are over 100 suo moto cases in the Supreme Court. Law enforcement agencies have been “demoralized.” Why? Because their officers have been charged, suspended, or convicted by the judiciary. As a result, they have been immobilized out of fear of punishment.

    UPDATE: 3:00PM – Musharraf’s address: Describes three stages of his rule. First stage (1999-2002), Pakistan was a failing state when he took over. He was in total control in the first stage. In the second stage (2002-2007), he “oversaw” a transition to civilian, democratic governance. This was the first time Senate, National Assemblies, etc. lasted their entire time. Now we’re in the last stage of this transition — the third stage — in which there would be a complete return to civilian rule. He says he sought national reconciliation, but for political and other reasons, some have sought to obstruct this process in its final stages — the final few months.

    UPDATE: 3:04PM – Musharraf’s address: There has been a great downturn. Foreign investors have slowed down their investment in Pakistan. The quality of life has improved over the past five years. Infrastructural development, airports, railways, mobile telephones, etc. are now spreading. In the social sector, primary and and secondary and higher education have been improving — but is afraid the advances of the past seven years will be washed away.

    UPDATE: 3:06PM – Musharraf’s address: He says foreigners have been calling him in recent weeks, asking him what’s going on in Pakistan, as the uncertainty and instability rises. Says to that “some television channels” and “some television programs” have contributed to national uncertainty. He says this is the media that “I gave independence to.” “The media should be independent, but should be responsible.”

    UPDATE: 3:09PM – Musharraf’s address: He asks, “Why are we in this situation?” Blames it on “judicial activism.” Says the judiciary has trampled upon the executive and legislative branches and that this began when he referenced the Supreme Court Chief Justice on March 9. Says he wasn’t personally involved in that.

    UPDATE: 3:16PM – Musharraf’s address: Goes into detail about the recent rise of the militants — including into the heart of Islamabad. Says the government took action against them after patient deliberation. Says the courts subsequently freed individuals definitely involved in terrorism. Says they could have been involved in recent terror attacks. Says the courts ordered the re-opening of madrasas training militants.

    UPDATE: 3:23PM – Musharraf’s address: My brothers and sisters…what is happening to this country? Where are we going? How do we curb this downside movement? Need a balance of powers between the three pillars of state — the judiciary, legislative and executive.

    UPDATE: 3:25PM – Musharraf’s address: In order to complete the third phase, need emergency rule. No change in government. Prime ministers, governors, and chief ministers will remain in office. All the assemblies will remain in place.

    UPDATE: 3:27PM – Musharraf’s address: Speaks in English now. Says he wants to speak to the world and “particularly to our friends in the West, the United States, the European Union, and the Commonwealth.” “I would ask you to kindly understand the criticality of the environment inside and outside Pakistan. Pakistan is on the verge of destabilization. If not arrested in time now, without any further delay, what saddens me most is that after all what we have achieved, I see in front of my eyes, Pakistan’s upsurge taking a downward trend. I personally, with all my conviction and with all the facts available to me. I consider that inaction at this moment is suicide for Pakistan and I cannot allow this country to commit suicide. Therefore, I had to take this action in order to preserve the democratic transition which I initiated eight years back…..I request you all to bear with us. To the critics and idealists against this action, I would like to say, please do not expect or demand your level of democracy, which you learned over a number of centuries. We’re also trying to learn and we’re doing well. Please give us time. Please also do not demand your level of civil rights, human rights, civil liberties which you’ve learned over centuries….Please give us time.”

    UPDATE: 3:35PM – Musharraf’s address: He then reads a passage from a text on Abraham Lincoln’s suspension of habeus corpus during the civil war. Then he reads from a letter written by Lincoln, “My oath to preserve the constitution imposed on me the duty of preserving by every indispensable means that government that nation of which the constitution was the organic law. was it possible to lose the nation and yet preserve the constitution? by general law life and limb but be protected but often a limb must be amputated to save a life…i felt that measures otherwise unconstitutional might become unlawful by becoming indispensable to the right or wrong I assumed this wrong and now avow it.” Musharraf says, “We are also learning democracy. We are going through a difficult stage. It is the nation that is important. Pakistan comes first. Anyone else’s considerations comes after Pakistan. With all my sincerity, whatever I’m doing is in the interest of Pakistan.”

    UPDATE: 3:37PM – Musharraf’s address: Ends address by returning to Urdu and stating that the people of Pakistan are agitated by the uncertainty will confront the nation’s challenges together.

    UPDATE: 3:40PM – Benazir Bhutto has left Karachi airport and is on her way home to Bilawal House in Karachi’s Clifton area.

    UPDATE: 3:47PM – Musharraf has issued two new ordinances affect the print and electronic media “prohibiting them to publish or broadcast statements that abet terrorist activities or terrorism.”

    UPDATE: 3:53PM – Benazir Bhutto is holding a press conference right now. Reads Musharraf’s statement and says “this is not emergency rule” but martial law. Says martial law must be ended and the constitution must be revived immediately. Says she returned from Dubai immediately after learning that television transmission was being cut off in Pakistan. Expressed her solidarity with the rest of Pakistan’s political parties.
    UPDATE: 4:03PM – Mushahid Hussain, secretary general of Musharraf’s Muslim League faction (PML-Q), tells the Washington Post of his opposition to the imposition of emergency rule, terming it “de facto martial law.” The Post says, “He said he had repeatedly tried to persuade the president against the measures in recent days but was outvoted within Musharraf’s inner circle.” Hussain says Musharraf “convened a meeting of his top advisers on Wednesday to discuss their options and that 20 of 25 were in favor of emergency rule.”

    UPDATE: 4:15PM – Aitzaz Ahsan, president of the Supreme Court Bar Association and People’s Party senator, speaks to ARY One World from a police station bathroom. He refers to Musharraf as a “spoiled brat” and a “bad loser.” Says he’s arrested under a “maintenance of order” provision. [Video]

    UPDATE: 8:02PM – Benazir Bhutto says, in an interview with NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, “we would like to protest the imposition of martial law, and we would like to raise our voices for the restoration of democracy. So we’re going to be meeting together to discuss the most effective ways of doing that.”

    UPDATE: November 4, 2007 — 12:45AM - GEO reports that opposition figure Javed Hashmi and 10 other PML-N figures have been arrested in Multan.

    UPDATE: 1:04AM – A Pentagon spokesperson says, “At this point, the declaration does not impact on our military support for Pakistan’s efforts in the war on terror.”

    UPDATE: 1:26AM – Out of Pakistan’s three major Urdu news channels — GEO, ARY One World, and AAJ — only the latter beams exclusively out of Pakistan. Both GEO and ARY One World, for events like yesterday’s, made the wise decision years ago to transmit from Dubai’s Media City. Their main studios are also located there. As a result, they are still broadcasting to those who can receive their signal — satellite and Internet viewers. AAJ, unfortunately, is entirely Pakistan-based and to top it off, its broadcasting studios were raided by security officials and much of their equipment was confiscated. Their Karachi studios were targeted during the violence coinciding with the Chief Justice’s ill-fated visit to the city in May.

    UPDATE: 2:45AM – Imran Khan, previously under house arrest, has been taken to Koh Lakhpat Jail, according to Pakistan Tehreek-e Insaaf. This comes after his many interviews with the Pakistani and foreign press, including one with the AFP in which he is quoted as suggesting that Musharraf has committed treason punishable by death.

    UPDATE: 3:24AM – GEO reports that former ISI Chief Hameed Gul has been arrested.

    UPDATE: 3:45AM – AAJ TV is back on air (available here), but like other channels currently permitted to broadcast in Pakistan, is broadcasting non-news and non-political content. But this site states that it had Ret. Judge Wajihuddin Ahmed on the air.

    UPDATE: 3:58AM – AAJ TV seems to have been taken off the air again.

    UPDATE: 4:19AM – Tariq Fatemi, a retired senior Pakistani diplomat tells GEO that U.S. and Western capitals’ public reaction with feature an “expression of regret and expectation of improvement”, but privately, it will be business as usual. He says their primary interests in Pakistan are three-fold: 1) The war on terror; 2) Continuation of military campaigns along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border; 3) Ensuring Pakistan’s help in a war against Iran.

    UPDATE: 4:36AM – AAJ is back on the air. Another religious show is on.

    UPDATE: 12:24PM – Geo reports that Asfandyar Wali, head of the Awami National Party, is under house arrest.



    “The United States is deeply disturbed by reports that Pakistani President Musharraf has taken extra-constitutional actions and has imposed a state of emergency. A state of emergency would be a sharp setback for Pakistani democracy and takes Pakistan off the path toward civilian rule. President Musharraf has stated repeatedly that he will step down as Chief of Army Staff before re-taking the presidential oath of office and has promised to hold elections by January 15th. We expect him to uphold these commitments and urge him to do so immediate. The United States stand with the people of Pakistan in supporting a democratic process and in countering violent extremism. We urge all parties to work together to complete the transition to democracy and civilian rule without violence or delay.”



    ISLAMABAD, Nov 3 (AFP): This is the full text of the proclamation of the emergency:


    Whereas there is visible ascendancy in the activities of extremists and incidents of terrorist attacks, including suicide bombings, IED explosions, rocket firing and bomb explosions and the banding together of some militant groups have taken such activities to an unprecedented level of violent intensity posing a grave threat to the life and property of the citizens of Pakistan.

    Whereas there has also been a spate of attacks on state infrastructure and on law enforcement agencies;

    Whereas some members of the judiciary are working at cross purposes with the executive and legislature in the fight against terrorism and extremism, thereby weakening the government and the nation’s resolve and diluting the efficacy of its actions to control this menace;

    Whereas there has been increasing interference by some members of the judiciary in government policy, adversely affecting economic growth, in particular;

    Whereas constant interference in executive function, including but not limited to the control of terrorist activity, economic policy, price controls, downsizing of corporations and urban planning, has weakened the writ of the government; the police force has been completely demoralized and is fast losing its efficacy to fight terrorism and Intelligence Agencies have been thwarted in their activities and prevented from pursuing terrorists;

    Whereas some hard core militants, extremists, terrorists and suicide bombers, who were arrested and being investigated were ordered to be released.

    The persons so released have subsequently been involved in heinous terrorist activities, resulting in loss of human life an property. Militants across the country have, thus, been encouraged while law enforcement agencies subdued;

    Whereas some judges by overstepping the limits of judicial authority have taken over the executive and legislative functions;

    Whereas the Government is committed to the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law and holds the superior judiciary in high esteem, it is nonetheless of paramount importance that the honourable Judges confine the scope of their activity to the judicial function and not assume charge of administrations;

    Whereas an important constitutional institution, the Supreme Judicial Council, has been made entirely irrelevant and non est by a recent order and judges have, thus, make themselves immune from inquiry into their conduct and put themselves beyond accountability.

    Whereas the humiliating treatment meted to government officials by some members of the judiciary on a routine basis during court proceedings has demoralized the civil bureaucracy and senior government functionaries, to avoid being harassed, prefer inaction;

    Whereas the law and order situation in the country as well as the economy have been adversely affected and trichotomy of powers eroded;

    Whereas a situation has thus arisen where the government of the country cannot be carried on it

    Accordance with the constitution and as the constitution provides no solution for this situation, there is no way out except through emergent and extraordinary measures;
    And whereas the situation has been reviewed in meetings with the Prime Minister, governors of all Provinces, and with chairman joint chiefs of staff committee, chiefs of the armed forces, vice chief of army Staff and corps commanders of the Pakistan army;

    Now, therefore, in pursuance of the deliberations and decisions of the said meetings, I, General Pervez Musharraf, Chief of the Army Staff, proclaim emergency throughout Pakistan.

    I hereby order and proclaim that the constitution of the Islamic republic of Pakistan shall remain in abeyance.

    This Proclamation shall come into force at once.



    Text of Provisional Constitution Order

    ISLAMABAD, Nov 3 (APP) – Following is the text of the Provisional Constiotution Order issued on Saturday:


    In pursuance of the Proclamation of the 3rd day of November, 2007, and in exercise of all powers enabling him in that behalf, the Chief of Army Staff under the Proclamation of Emergency of the 3rd day of November, 2007, is pleased to make and promulgate the following Order:-

    1. (1) This Oder may be called the Provisional Constitution Order No. 1 of 2007.

    (2) It extends to the whole of Pakistan,

    (3) It shall come into force at once.

    2* (1) Notwithstanding the abeyance of the provisions of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, hereinafter referred to as the Constitution, Pakistan shall, subject to this Order and any other Order made by the President be governed, as nearly as may be, in accordance with the Constitution:

    Provided that the President may, from time to time, by Order amend the Constitution, as is deemed expedient;

    Provided further that the Fundamental Rights under Articles 9, 10, 15,16,17,19 and 25 shall remain suspended.

    (2) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Proclamation of the 3rd day of November, 2007, or this Order or any other law for the time being in force all provisions of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan embodying Islamic injunctions including Articles 2t 2A, 31, 203A to 203J, 227 to 231 and 260 (3) (a) and (b) shall continue to be In force.

    (3) Subject to clause (1) above and the Oath of Office

    (Judges) Order, 2007, all courts in existence immediately before the commencement of this Order shall continue to function and to exercise their respective powers and jurisdication.

    Provided that the Supreme Court or a High Court and any other court shall not have the power to make any order against the President or the Prime Minister or any person exercising powers or jurisdiction under their authority.

    (4) All personi who immediately before the commencement of this Order were in office as judges of the Supreme Court, the Federal Shariat Court or a High Court, shall be governed by and be subject to the Oath of Office (Judges) Order, 2007, and such further Orders as the President may pass.

    (5) Subject to clause (1) above, the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) and the Provincial Assemblies shall continue to function.

    (6) All persons who, immediately before the commencement of this Order, were holding any service, post or office in connection with the affairs of the Federation ox of a Province, including an All Pakistan Service, Service in the Armed Forces and any other Service declared to be a Service of Pakistan by or under Act of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) or of a Provincial Assembly, or Chief Election Commissioner or Auditor General shall continue in the said service on the same terms and conditions and shall enjoy the same privileges, if any, unless these are changed under Orders of the President.

    3, (l) No court including the Supreme Court, the Federal Shariat Court, and the High Courts, and any tribunal or other authority shall call or permit to be called in question this Order, the Proclamation of Emergency of the 3rd day of November, 5007, the Oath of Office (Judges) Order, 2007 or any Order made in pursuance thereof.

    (2) No judgment, decree, writ, order or process whatsoever shall be made or issued by any court or tribunal against the President or the Prime Minister or any authority designated by the President.

    4. (]) Notwithstanding the abeyance of the provisions of the Constitution, but subject to the Orders of the President, all laws other than the Constitution, til Ordinances. Orders, Rules, Bye-laws, Regulations, Notifications and other legal Instruments in force in any part of Pakistan, whether made by the President or the Governor of a Province, shall continue in force until ltered, amended or repealed by the Preaidont or any authority designated by him.

    5. (I) An Ordinance promulgated by the President or by the Governor of a Province shall not be subject to any limitations as to duration prescribed in the Constitution.

    (2) The provisions of clause (1) shall also apply to an Ordinance issued by the President or by a Governor which was in force immediately before the commencement of the Proclamation of Emergency of the 3rd day of November, 2007.

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    The Nawaz Sharif Factor

    aaj_tv_uncle_sam_elections_1.JPGPakistani public opinion data released last week by the International Republican Institute (IRI) strongly indicates that U.S. efforts to facilitate a Pervez Musharraf-Benazir Bhutto power sharing deal are backfiring and necessitate revision.

    Talks between Bhutto and Musharraf have been going on for months with persistent encouragement from Washington, including regular involvement by Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher and periodic interventions by Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. A deal between the two, which is virtually complete, would join Pakistan’s most powerful institution, the army, and largest political party, the People’s Party (PPP), in a fight against rising militancy.

    Rather than securing a liberal alliance, by overstepping its bounds and excluding former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Washington has helped bolster rightist, anti-American parties and lower the popularity of Bhutto and Musharraf.

    Pakistanis oppose U.S. interference in their democratic transition. They resent Washington’s choosing of sides in their upcoming elections—made blatant by its (at the very least) tacit approval of Musharraf’s deportation of the exiled Sharif in September. Washington has wrongly seen Sharif as a conservative threat to the liberal alliance, but closing him out of Bhutto-Musharraf talks leaves him only one card: allying with nationalist and religious parties and making his party Pakistan’s protest vote.

    Nawaz Sharif is now Pakistan’s most popular politician. His once dismal approval ratings have skyrocketed in recent months, with Pakistanis forgetting his checkered past. The IRI poll suggests that Sharif’s faction of the Muslim League party (PML-N) could—in free and fair elections—win the popular vote nationally and in Punjab (the largest province), and lead a coalition government with nationalist and Islamist parties in the Afghanistan-bordering Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP). A provincial and federal government made up of malcontents and those pushed away by Washington would jeopardize cooperation with the U.S. in areas bordering Afghanistan.

    Such a scenario is, however, still avoidable. Parliamentary elections will be held in early January, leaving ample time for Bhutto, Musharraf, and their benefactors in Washington to integrate Sharif into a moderate, centrist set-up. Should their deal survive, Bhutto and Musharraf can secure victory in rigged elections, but the gains will be fleeting and further bolster the opposition (including extremists). Already, a majority of Pakistanis oppose their arrangement, seeing it as an extra-legal measure to clear Bhutto of corruption charges. It’s been a major political blow to both Bhutto and Musharraf; either might decide to jump off a sinking ship.

    The submerging of a moderate front against militancy by conservative elements is not inevitable. It can be legitimized and depersonalized by adding Nawaz Sharif into the mix. Musharraf and Bhutto will be able to cut their losses, force Sharif’s party to earn support on their own right—not simply by serving as an alternative—and isolate it from parties further to the right. Bhutto and Sharif will regain shots at winning the premiership, and the latter will be able to mend his relations with the military and Washington. Musharraf can recede to a more secure position mediating between his two counterparts, who slung quite a bit of mud at one another in the 1990s.

    aaj_tv_uncle_sam_elections_2.JPGThe Musharraf camp, with the approval of Bhutto and friends in Washington, can offer Sharif, contingent upon his joining a moderate front against militancy: a pre-election return to Pakistan; dropping of court cases against him and his brother (pending judicial review); the ability to run for the premiership for a third time; and leadership of a consolidated Muslim League party.

    The records of Bhutto, Musharraf, and Sharif are quite blemished, but at this point, they represent Pakistan’s largest power factions and three of its major ethnic groups. This albeit flawed tri-partite grouping can help put an end to the elite discord that has ravaged Pakistan since its independence. Previous pacts among Pakistan’s ruling class have been incomplete, guaranteeing those excluded to become spoilers.

    The in-fighting has helped create a quasi-failed state. A staggering 73% of Pakistanis see their country as headed in the wrong direction. A majority sees itself as less secure and worse off economically than before. A democratic Pakistan with a balance of power between Musharraf, Bhutto, and Sharif, combined with an emboldened judiciary, press, and civil society, can compel Pakistan’s leaders to boldly confront the country’s major challenges, including militancy and poverty. There is much work to be done.

    For the Bush administration, entering its final year, a Bhutto-Musharraf-Sharif deal can secure a long-lasting victory for its pro-democracy and anti-terror campaigns. The so-called Arab Spring quickly winterized in part because Washington failed to account for long-standing factional and structural impediments that were country specific. With its Plan A for Pakistan collapsing, Washington can quickly transition to a more sound Plan B that will serve its interests and those of Pakistan’s 160 million people.

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    Return to Sender: Nawaz’s Four Hours in Pakistan

    The information provided by Shaan’s sources on Sunday proved to be accurate: Nawaz Sharif was deported Monday afternoon Pakistan-time back to Jiddah, Saudi Arabia. Details of Sharif’s removal are murky.

    After spending over two hours on the tarmac at Islamabad’s airport, Nawaz Sharif was arrested, charged with money laundering, and shipped to Saudi Arabia. Some reports state that he met with Tariq Aziz, a Musharraf confidante, as well as with senior Saudi officials, while this was later denied by government officials.

    Information Minister Muhammad Ali Durrani alleges that Sharif chose to return to Jiddah on his own accord. Sharif claims he was duped and that he only consented to boarding a second plane after being told it was headed toward Karachi, where he would stand before a court.

    Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz says that Sharif was presented with two options, jail or exile, and chose the latter. PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat confirms that these options were presented, but originally stated that Sharif accepted prison, and contradicted himself later, stating that Sharif chose exile.

    One wonders whether Shujaat’s mistake was no mistake at all. His political position is as precarious as Musharraf’s. In any number of days, Musharraf could effectively dump him for Benazir, or reduce him to co-wife. Shujaat would be the expendable, older bride in a polygamous marriage. Understandably, he’s been in contact with Nawaz, who is his plan B. And so his ‘mistake’ could actually be a way to slip out the fact that Nawaz was removed from Pakistan against his will and in violation of the Supreme Court’s ruling. Dawn provides some harsh anti-Nawaz quotes from Shujaat, but this could simply be posturing on his part or sign of his recognition that his Nawaz-card no longer exists.

    Statements over the coming days from Nawaz & Shahbaz Sharif, Musharraf’s government, and Saudi officials will help structure a more solid account of Nawaz’s deportation. While these details are unsettled–Dawn’s account is by far the more comprehensive–the motives and future implications behind today’s actions are fairly clear.

    One, Pervez Musharraf and his inner circle (Tariq Aziz, ISI chief Ashfaq Kiyani, et al.) have decided that it Nawaz Sharif’s presence in Pakistan right now would be unfeasible. Permitting the deposed prime minister back in the country would catalyze a series of unfortunate events for the Pakistani president. Above all, Sharif’s presence would weaken his negotiating position in final-round talks with Benazir Bhutto and provide further motivation for members of his party, the PML-Q, to defect (in most cases, back) to Nawaz’s PML-N.

    PML-Q Pres Chaudhry Shujaat stands to be the biggest loser of a Bhutto-Musharraf deal, and that’s why he’s been in talks with Nawaz and publicly opposing the potential accord. In fact, he recently tried to discredit it, stating that the “goras” (white people — i.e. Americans) are the ones pushing for it. His message: the Americans are choosing our leaders; this deal is being made in Washington and in Washington’s interests–not Pakistan’s.

    And so what Musharraf has sought for, at the very least, is a few more days to seal his deal with Benazir, who will announce her date of return to Pakistan on Friday. The imminence of the Bhutto-Musharraf deal pushed Nawaz to return before Benazir. Her negotiations with Musharraf shattered Sharif’s All Parties Democratic Movement (APDM). His only card left was to confront Musharraf directly by flying to the capital, Islamabad, before the conclusion of a power-sharing agreement between his two rivals.

    Musharraf’s government attempted to nominally comply with the Supreme Court ruling forbidding the prevention of Sharif’s return to and stay in Pakistan. Their position is that they let him come in the country, stay (albeit for four hours), and then he left on his own accord. Sharif’s supporters have taken their case to the Supreme Court, which will consider the legality of Sharif’s deportation. Should the court rule in Nawaz’s favor, Musharraf can potentially still win. Keeping Nawaz out for this week can give him the necessary window to complete a deal with Benazir and settle things with his current PML-Q allies. The second coming of Nawaz would then be anti-climactic, with the party over and the cake eaten.

    In an alternative scenario, the High Court can rule in Nawaz’s favor and Musharraf would then go on an extra-constitutional path to stay in power by declaring emergency rule. Odds of him choosing this path would be radically higher should negotiations with Bhutto collapse for good. Prospects for Pakistan’s stability would also collapse as Musharraf’s imposition of a state of emergency would actually create a state of emergency.

    Like Pakistan’s previous military rulers, Musharraf’s ‘corrective movement’ would reverse, leaving the country in a shape worse than before his rise to power. The legacy of Musharraf–once popularly seen as an anti-corruption crusader, a straight-talker, liberal nationalist, and apolitical executive–would then be characterized by the perception of him being an autocratic, American lackey, drunk on power and surrounded by corrupt figures like the Chaudhry Duo.

    The prospects for such a scenario are real and induced to a large degree by American support. Vice President Cheney has ensured Musharraf of Washington’s complete backing — and the message was confirmed on Saturday by Richard Boucher. Much like Nixon’s ’tilt toward Pakistan’ policy, Cheney is behind the Bush administration’s ’tilt toward Musharraf’. And so while the State Department admits that Sharif’s deportation “runs contrary to the Supreme Court ruling,” an NSC spokesperson describes it as “an internal matter.” That’s like calling spousal abuse a private, not criminal, matter. Another Bush administration official says that the moves against Sharif are “not necessarily the worst thing that could happen.”

    As we stated in a previous post, Washington sees Sharif as a nuisance, if not a threat to its objectives in Pakistan. Ahmed Rashid concurs, writing, “Nawaz Sharif is not part of the American script for the war on terror and the future of Pakistan, written by mandarins in the US State Department. He is considered neither fish nor fowl, too close to the fundamentalist mullahs and too unpredictable.”

    Sharif is a business baron-politician motivated not by ideology, but power and profit. His rise to power in the early 90s was through an coalition with Islamists engineered by Pakistan’s intelligence services. And in his second term, he used Islam to maximize his executive power and punish his opponents. But Sharif is no Islamist ideologue. His political usage of Islam was largely the product of its availability and efficacy. His major political foe was a left-leaning female. Now his major opponent is a military dictator — and Sharif, ushered into power by the ISI, is now rallying against the military’s role in politics. Politics is marked by both pandering and philandering. Sharif, like any politician, can only capitalize upon the opportunities availed to him.

    And so a better strategy for Washington would be to make it politically advantageous for Sharif to side with the more liberal lot in his country. But instead, it is pushing him and his supporters away toward a harder right, nationalist and Islamist bloc. In doing so, it makes anti-Americanism more entrenched, furthers political polarization, and ruins Pakistan’s best chance to attain consensus-driven structural governance reform. The Bush administration’s Musharraf policy might result in some decisive wins against al-Qaeda in Pakistan-Afghanistan next year, but Pakistan’s polity will continue to fracture, and a new Pandora’s Box will be opened.

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    Washington and Nawaz Sharif’s Return to Pakistan

    Pakistan International Airlines flight 786 has just taken off from London’s Heathrow Airport heading toward Islamabad. Sitting in its business class is exiled, deposed former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Should things go as planned on his side, Nawaz will have returned to Pakistan Monday morning local time for the first time in seven years.

    The Musharraf government failed in preventing Sharif’s departure for Pakistan. The Supreme Court ruled that Sharif had an “inalienable right” to return and stay in his country. Yesterday, Lebanon’s Saad Hariri and Saudi intelligence chief Muqrin bin Abdul Aziz came to Islamabad and called on Sharif to complete the remaining three years of his 10-year exile deal. Sharif replied that he originally made an oral agreement for a 5-year exile and consented to a subsequent 10-year deal on paper only after receiving assurances the time period would be reduced.

    Musharraf’s remaining options are far messier. He can:
    - prevent the flight’s arrival in Pakistan;
    - re-route Sharif’s flight to a more isolated city in Pakistan (e.g. Peshawar);
    - arrest Sharif and jail him in Attock, detain him in Murree, or deport him to another country;
    - or not interfere with Sharif’s movement at all.

    Without a doubt, Musharraf’s challenging Sharif’s flight arrival in Islamabad will eerily resemble Sharif’s handling of the general’s flight to Karachi, which allegedly helped precipitate Musharraf’s coup.

    The path chosen by Musharraf remains to be seen, but what can be said with some certainty is that it will have considerable endorsement from Washington. Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher met with Musharraf yesterday. The visit was days earlier than scheduled and made without the knowledge of many senior Pakistani officials. There is speculation in Pakistan that the Bush administration is against Nawaz’s return. This view will receive significant validation should Musharraf take a hardline against Nawaz on Mondaytwo days after the visit of a senior American diplomat and three days after the State Department called for restraint by Sharif and Bhutto without offering the former support despite Islamabad’s threats against him.

    Why would the Bush administration want Nawaz out of the country—at least for the time being? The simple answer is that Sharif’s return poses the greatest challenge to the Bhutto-Musharraf alliance, encouraged by Washington, which sees it as a liberal bulwark against a rising militant and anti-American tide in the country.

    A Bhutto-Musharraf alliance leaves Nawaz Sharif, as well as many in the king’s party (PML-Q), in the cold. Their best remaining option could be to create a counter-alliance, much like Sharif’s ISI-backed Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI) of the 90s, of rightists, nationalists, Islamists, and other assorted anti-Musharraf characters. Together, they can create a political alliance that, along with an increasingly assertive judiciary and civil society, can challenge the bases of Musharraf’s hold on power and potential deal with Bhutto. Not only would such a movement put Musharraf’s tenure at risk, it would also discredit Bhutto and her fellow liberals, push Pakistan toward greater instability, and place Washington’s interests in the country at serious risk.

    In fact, Bhutto’s fear of being discredited by an increasingly unpopular and volatile Musharraf might prevent her from finalizing a power-sharing accord with the Pakistani president. Negotiating with Bhutto has caused a strong backlash within her own party and watered down her democratic credentials. Her strongly pro-American and anti-terror talking points in U.S. may also come to haunt her in Pakistan, where she might be seen as an American lackey like her potential partner, “Busharraf.” She could decide in the coming days against a deal with Musharraf in order to salvage her political career. Should she do that and fail to come to terms with Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan’s polity could head toward greater fracture and instability.

    Washington’s hope in a Bhutto-Musharraf alliance is misguided. What Pakistan really needs is an accord that unites all of its elites and power-brokers on a transitional governance framework and a national agenda facing the country’s many problems. Its promotion of a deal between Benazir and Musharraf has largely been quiet and behind-the-scenes, but is a badly-kept secret. And its silence on Nawaz’s return speaks loudly, casting a negative light on its policy toward Pakistan and discrediting a liberal agenda in the country.

    Washington cannot play favorites among Pakistan’s politicians. That’s the prerogative of the people of Pakistan. Such behavior counters Washington’s interests in the country anyway by discrediting pro-American figures and making anti-Americanism even more mainstream and a political rallying point. Washington should let Pakistan’s institutions and power brokers settle its crisis of governance, giving a friendly push toward a broad consensus including friends and foes. This seemingly passive strategy ensures that its friends are in power, rather than out on their asses.

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    Arif Rafiq, a Washington, DC-based consultant on Middle East and South Asian political and security issues. [About]

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