planned Janaury election in Pakistan colud be delayed by up to a year after president Pervez Musharraf’s imposition of emergency rule. According to the Prime Minister, Shaukat Azizi, who addressed a news conference, the government remains committed to the democratic process. But he said parliament might change the date of the elections planned for january, and gave no end date for the emergency.
Rights have been suspended, media has been restricted and hundreds of people arrested under the emergency decree. Aziz said 400 to 500 ” preventative arrests” have been made so far, and said the emergency, imposed by Musharraf on saturday, would last for ” as long as is necessary”.
Small protests have started in the capital, Islamabad, where police and security forces are on the the streets surrounding key sites. Musharraf said he declared the emergency to stop Pkistan ” committing suicide”, because the country was in a crises caused by militant violence and an unruly judiciary.
The moves came as the Supreme Court was due to rule on the legality of his October election victory. United States States of state, condoleezza Rice, has said Washington is reviewing the aid which it gives to pakistan in the wake of Musharraf’s decision
” Obviously we are going to have to review the situation with aid, in part because we have to see what may be triggered by certain statutes,” Rice said. In the recent years, Musharraf has been a key ally in washington’s war on terror and has received about $10 billion in aid since 2001.