Thursday, 10 May 2007

Allah, America, Army and Awam!

Who says that Pakistani politicians can't come up with good sound-bites? The Chief Minister of Sindh, Dr. Arbab Ghulam Rahim recently declared that the government of President Musharaf has the support of "Allah, America, Army and Awam!" Awam, can be translated as the people, or the nation.

The proof as they say, is in the pudding. While the Chief Justice was making his triumphant way through the country, being met by crowds of thousands at every town he passed through, Mr. Musharaf addressed a 'Public Meeting' at Naukot in Tharparkar. The idea was that the meeting would show that Musharaf too has a large popular following.

Details for organising the meeting were handed over to the PML-Q who control the local government and understandably they did their utmost to make sure that the meeting was a success. For example, the police confiscated over 2000 vehicles (mostly buses and lorries) from surrounding areas so that they could be used to ferry supporters to the Public Meeting. The results of this were many, particularly for school children as they could not attend schools. Many schools were forced to shut for the day. Businesses and offices opened late or in some cases not at all as there was no public transport available.

But that's not all. In order to ensure the success of the Public Meeting, government offices were closed, and Civil servants and teachers were "asked" to attend.

So Dr. Arbab Ghulam Rahim, Allah, America and Army - maybe (though perhaps even these are wavering) but as for the support of the Awam - maybe not.


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