Blackout in Pakistan?

Telephones and internet lines go down. Television programmes go off air.

Last week, Musharraf’s regime cut off Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry’s television and telephone. Now, it has cut off the rest of the country too.

Musharraf’s much touted liberalism, it turns out, was only as strong as his confidence of holding on to power. Judging from his clumsy reaction, the events following Chief Justice Chaudhry’s refusal to be cowed down must have shaken the General indeed. Editors have been issued veiled threats, television channels have been taken off the air, television programmes pulled, stations raided, hundreds of people taken into custody.

You can, of course, believe that the television channels (and perhaps telecom networks) went down because of “technical faults”. Just like you can believe the Gen Musharraf is interested in enlightened moderation.

Note: An earlier version of this post said that telecommunications networks were blocked by authorities. This might not be totally accurate, and services have resumed. However, the official explanation—that digging works in Karachi caused nationwide service disruption, including for cellular services—is not entirely convincing either.

Update: Musharraf claims that the raid on the television station should not have happened and is the result of a conspiracy against him. If he’s not lying to save his skin, and if riot police can be part of the conspiracy, then it might, after all, be the Ides of March.

5 thoughts on “Blackout in Pakistan?”

  1. It’s just partially true. In some parts of country mainly in Karachi due to power break down (this may artificially created)TV, internet are out however in my city there has not been any problem and we have been watching the TV and using internt without any problem.

  2. This is a total circus! The clowns (Durrani and the Chaudhry’s) have the megaphones and are trying to herd the lions back in. Lion #1’s gone berserk after being caged for a day (along with his cubs and lioness), while Lion #2 (that “cunning Hindu Baniya”) seems MIA in India! Lion #3 was keen to establish himself as alpha-male – all set to do what Scar did to Mufasa – to prevent a “grave judicial void” of course. All this under the watchful eye of President for Life and Generalissimo Mush aka Circus Ringmaster. Need more popcorn – this reality show if quite fun 🙂

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