Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Some Interesting Revelations Of The Meeting Between Musharraf And Western Diplomats

As most of you probably already know, Musharraf had an extensive meeting with ambassadors and officials from Western countries to explain his decision to impose emergency. The NYT reports that Musharraf railed against the judiciary in the meeting, and was ambiguous on the question of combating militancy in the country, the putative cause for emergency.
General Musharraf invited Islamabad’s diplomatic corps to his official residence on Monday to brief them on the situation and on his reasons for declaring emergency rule. But two Western diplomats said the encounter only reinforced concerns that General Musharraf was more focused on vanquishing his political rivals than on fighting terrorism.

At the meeting, the general primarily railed against his political opponents, with special venom reserved for the Supreme Court. When asked by a diplomat to describe specific plans to crack down on terrorists, General Musharraf gave only a vague answer.

“He effectively dodged the question and turned to the military presence in the room and asked them to organize a briefing for ambassadors,” said one of the Western diplomats. “It wasn’t very clear in terms of what was actually being done.”

The second Western diplomat said: “There was serious concern that terrorism and security was not front and center. What was really amazing was him going on and on and on about how bad the judiciary was.”

During the meeting, Anne W. Patterson, the American ambassador, complained to General Musharraf about the “extraordinarily heavy-handed measures” he had used, in particular the arrest of human rights activists. “It would be hard to imagine a group less threatening to the security of Pakistan,” she said, according to a diplomat.

Other diplomats at the meeting made similar points, but General Musharraf, who did not wear his uniform but wore traditional Pakistani clothing, appeared unconvinced, the diplomats said. He said he was concerned that the ambassadors from developed countries did not “understand Pakistan.”

By the way, I apologize for not posting my own thoughts on this entire mess. My brevity can be explained by two simple factors. One, I don't actually have a great deal to say beyond the fact that this is both normatively disturbing and instrumentally, uh, fucking retarded. Two, it's that time of quarter at school when I don't have time for much else. I'm trying to make up by linking to news from a range of sources which I hope keeps you procrastinating at work/school for at least a few minutes a day, which we all know is the only reason anyone reads blogs.

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