Pakistan is in crisis again. Gen Musharraf has declared a state of emergency in the country and began a process of meddling in the judiciary. His stated reason is to counteract the terrorist and extremist threat in the country. This is difficult to believe since his primary targets have so far been members of the judiciary, human rights activists and the media. It seems this is yet another desperate attempt by the General to stay in power.

It is a time of tough choices for the people of Pakistan. Do they value civil liberties, rule of law and democracy enough to actually fight for it. The establishment has become used to treating its citizens like cattle. They can be herded with the stick whenever needed. The General even implicitly admitted this in his address to the nation when he requested his friends in the West (whom he is “milking” in the name of terrorism) not to expect the same level of “human rights” in Pakistan. Obviously in his view Pakistanis have still not evolved to the human level where they would merit these rights. It is now up to the people to prove that the the dictator is wrong.

This is a tough choice, but then liberty doesn’t come cheap. See the excellent Democracy and Freedom blog for details and updates.