Martial Law Declared In Pakistan

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Image via BBC’s photogallery. This doesn’t look good.

Martial law has just been declared in Pakistan; the president (of “our” strongest ally in the Middle East in the ‘war on terror’) has declared a state of martial law and suspended the constitution. Wait — isn’t that what a constitution is supposed to help prevent!? This was after the legality of his re-election was brought into question by a judge (who has now been put in confinement with other judges). What does this have to do with Metblogs SF? Well, Pakistan is one of our biggest Metblogs countries — we have three cities there with very active local bloggers. According to Metblogs Islambad, all press and TV are in blackout, except of course for the state-run station.

* Here’s the breaking BBC News story with lots of details on Pakistan’s President General Pervez Musharraf’s action to declare martial law (he is also conveniently head of the police). I see most US headlines are calling it “emergency rule”. That sounds much nicer.

Mini-update: “Emergency rule” is what the president is calling martial law, so that’s how it’s being reported. Except according to IM info I just read via Metblogs communications with Metblogs Paki authors right now, CNN is blocked, and so are local calls. So the MSM headlines and softened jargon don’t matter for Paki people. Let’s just hope the Internet stays up.

Watch for posts from Pakistani people, some are in English:

* Metblogs Islambad
* Metblogs Lahore,
* Metblogs Karachi

Seen in Metblogs News.

Update 11.05: Yes, it’s all over the news now and the situation’s gotten much worse: The Guardian UK has crazy video of lawyers being tear gassed and beaten; as many as 3500 people have been detained. If you check the Metblogs news post, Sean relays from Paki bloggers exactly what “emergency rule” means. Meanwhile, since there’s been a news blackout for Paki people, in MSM, Metblogs is being specifically cited as one of the main sources Paki people are getting news of their own situation out. Read:

* TV channels still off air, Pakistanis resort to blogs (sify.com)
* Online, shock and awe (timesofindia.indiatimes.com)
* When channels were off, the Internet was on (thenews.com.pk)
* Little English-Language Blog Reporting on Pakistani Martial Law Arrests (blog.wired.com)

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