latest news from Islamabad
Gen. Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency in Pakistan on Saturday, suspending the constitution, replacing the chief justice before a crucial Supreme Court ruling on his future as president, and cutting communications in the capital.\
Pakistan’s main opposition leader, Benazir Bhutto, flew back to the country from Dubai and was sitting in an airplane at Karachi’s airport, waiting to see if she would be arrested or deported, a spokesman said. Dozens of paramilitary troops surrounded her house.
Ed Morrisey at Captain’s Quarters
Musharraf had awaited a decision from the Supreme Court on his eligibility to run for president, one that had been scheduled for over a week ago. The court announced that it would delay its decision for a month, leading to speculation that Musharraf would lose the decision and be disqualified from elective office. Even if he won the decision, the delay has proven somewhat destabilizing as the country holds its breath to discover who’s in charge.\
The West will not find this to their liking. They had pressed Musharraf to cut a deal with Benazir Bhutto to transition back to democratic processes, hoping that the deal would give them both a stronger political position and marginalize the Islamists. The radicals have their own agenda, however, and have worked to destabilize the political situation before the alliance between Bhutto and Musharraf could have any effect.
̶ Robert Stacy McCain, assistant national editor, The Washington Times