Pakistan's Political Crisis and State of Emergency [November 19, 2007]   [open pdf - 146KB]

"On November 3, 2007, Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf suspended the country's constitution and assumed emergency powers in his role as both president and army chief. The move came just over eight years after Musharraf overthrew the elected government in a bloodless 1999 military coup. It followed months of political crisis in the capital city of Islamabad, along with sharply deteriorating security circumstances across the country. In the days immediately following the move, the Islamabad government placed numerous Supreme Court justices under house arrest, and jailed thousands of political opposition figures, human rights activists, and lawyers who opposed the abrogation of rule of law. It also cracked down on independent media outlets, many of which were shut down completely, including the country's largest private television station. […] The U.S. government has supported such an accommodation as being in the best interests of both Pakistan and the United States. In light of undemocratic developments that constitute a major setback for U.S. policy toward Pakistan, U.S. officials are reevaluating their approach, and many in Congress have called for cutting or halting certain types of U.S. assistance to Pakistan, in particular military aid that is not directly related to counter-terrorism. S.Res. 372 and H.Res. 810, both calling for an end to the state of emergency in Pakistan, were introduced in Congress on November 8. H.Res. 823, condemning the imposition of emergency rule in Pakistan, was introduced in the House on November 14. See also CRS [Congressional Research Service] Report RL33498, 'Pakistan-U.S. Relations'. This report will be updated."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL34240
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