In November 2007, eight years after he first seized power in a coup, and six years after declaring himself president of Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency, suspended the Constitution and basic rights, dismissed the Supreme Court, and imposed a media blackout. He also put former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who had returned to Pakistan in October after eight years of self-imposed exile, under house arrest. On December 27, 2007, Bhutto was killed in a bomb and gun attack, just 12 days before parliamentary elections scheduled for January 8, 2008. Elections will now be held on 18 February.

To illuminate some of underlying political, social and economic issues that are shaping Pakistan’s still-unfolding crisis, the SSRC offers the following resources:

The Essays:

Rule of Force vs. Rule of Law in Pakistan
by Zia Mian and A.H. Nayyar
Exploring the causes and implications of the Pakistan emergency.

Musharraf and His Collaborators
by Akbar Zaidi
The Emergency has revealed the truth not just about Musharraf’s moderate enlightenment, but also about Pakistan’s liberal elite, as much as it has about the political leaders of Pakistan.

Political Crisis on a Silent Street
by Ali Cheema
Why is there an acute political crisis in Pakistan given that the silence of the street continues to haunt cities like Lahore?

The Governance Related Repercussions of Constitutional Deviation
Arif Hasan
The process of trying to legitimise “constitutional deviation” is more destructive of the institutions of governance that affect the lives of common citizens, than “constitutional deviation” itself.

Unarmed Pathans
by Mukulika Banerjee
The longest lasting civil disobedience movement in the world is the Khudai Khitmatgar movement of Pakistan (1930-1947): a historical resource that can allow for new and energetic responses to the current predicament.

The Speech of Generals: Some Meditations on Pakistan by Way of Subaltern Studies
by Naveeda Khan
Analyzing the speech of Generals in Pakistan to bring to light the different ways in which the idea of a people is evoked.

About the Authors

Background Essays

Download all the essays in a single file, including the editorial statement and TOC: Pakistan in Crisis (PDF – 192KB)

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