It is going on week 2 for me (Alicia) here in DC...and I am learning more than I imagined. I know it sounds naive, but coming into this trip, I knew little difference between Pakistan, Palestine, and other Middle Eastern Countries. Through various meetings and panel presentations, it is all coming into context for me...the so called veil is being lifted from my eyes.
This evening, fellow Code Pinker Des, IPS intern Alex and I attended a meeting concerning Pakistan and defending their right to Rule of Law. We were lucky enough to hear 2 lawyers speak of their movement in Pakistan, of their strong stand against President/Military Commander/Dictator Musharaff. These strong, courageous men stood with others in their profession against Musharaff while he held (against their own laws) more than one office, while he made illegal changes to their constitution without the consent of advisers, his Parliament or his people. I learned of their unwavering dedication to justice, as Musharaff suspended their constitution they had worked so hard to instill (upon freedom from British tyranny), declared Marshall Law, and proceeded to imprison thousands of judges and lawyers. Musharaff has lied to his people, had the leader of the opposition party (Benazir Bhutto) assassinated (in the midst of military presence)...my goodness, the injustices are endless. And do you know what Americas answer is, for the thousands of Pakistanis who cry for help? Try to reason with your dictator...stop opposing him, work something out. When in peace talks with the Pakistanis, good old Condi went so far as to say something along the lines of: the American public didn't overthrow their president when his party lost the majority. Your situation isn't that big of a deal. Reason with him.
It is scary how the US allows these things to happen, when we felt such a need to liberate Iraq and instill a new democratic government (and continue to occupy under that very assumption), yet we can't seem to find it in our democratic hearts to stop this blatent injustice (the likes of, if not potentially worse than, Saddam Hussein), this crazy self declared Dictator who is impeding Pakistan's desire to become a democracy. And why is it that we can't intervene? Ah, yes, because Musharaff is helping with the war on terror. Great! Thank you Musharaff, sorry 6 million Pakistanis. What is even scarier, are the vast implications this very situation has for our USofA. But now I'm ranting...for more information, and for a far more informed position on this subject, please visit http://www.ruleoflawproject.org/ .
Good day, and fare well...lots coming up over the next few weeks!