Pakistan: The view from the blogs

Bloggers call for protests and caution as state of emergency is imposed.

    While TV stations were closed, newspapers and blogs are full of comment [GALLO/GETTY]

    Other were more direct about the statement made by President Musharraf:

    "Waited, despite being immensely tired, only to discover that it lacked even the sound and fury ... and ended being just a tale told by an idiot. Signifying nothing." [Windmills of my mind]
    There are however doubts among some bloggers that protests will have much affect because of what they describe as a lack of an organised opposition:

    "I don't see a large scale protest campaign against Musharraf until there is an accurate picture of reality on the ground. No one really expected Musharraf to follow through. We're going to see an opposition that is potentially in disarray." (Pakitel)

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    "Musharraf has many enemies in his country and I believe with Bhutto as PM there would be more people supporting the goverment"

    Howahr, Doha, Qatar

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    A number of bloggers say despite a state of emergency being declared, Musharraf is still the best man to provide security in the country:

    "Our political parties have failed to come up with alternative leadership. They are still the bastion of dynasties. At least now the government will be able to round up the extremists." (Pakistanist)

    Commenting on the same site, another blogger tries to put recent events in context:

    "Those who think this is the worst thing in the history of Pakistan should look at the past year. Bombings, soldiers captured or killed, citizens of Pakistan slaughtered in public. You still think this is the worst thing to have happened to Pakistan?" (Pakistanist)

    Other blogs point the finger of blame at US support for President Musharraf:

    "The US keeps aiding him, reminding me how a flailing tinpot dictator is supported no matter what large amounts of people think to the contrary." (Chapati Mystery)

    A number of Pakistani bloggers have made comparisons with other countries in deep political crisis:

    "Next up? Martial law. More bombings and the eventual drain of all the capital that has accumulated in the country in the past 8 years. Zimbabwe, here we come." (Global Voices Online)

    On the same site, some words of caution from one blogger calling on fellow online enthusiasts to stop blogging or risk the consequences:

    "I think it's time that all Pakistan based bloggers should stop blogging and be careful. I know how much we want to report but please, this is martial law." (Global Voices Online)

    This view reflecting perhaps just how fragile the situation is.

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    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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