Musharraf defends emergency rule, issues decrees limiting media Bernard Hibbitts at 4:12 PM ET
[JURIST] Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf [official website] defended his decision to suspend the country's constitution [JURIST report] and impose emergency rule in a nationwide radio and television address [recorded audio in Urdu; English-language paraphrase from Geo-TV] delivered late Saturday local time. Musharraf said the step had been "painful" but because of an ongoing clash between the government and the judiciary the government system was "semi-paralyzed" even in the face of terrorism and extremism. He said government officials were being humiliated by the courts and that law enforcement agencies had been demoralized by the conviction of top officers. Addressing Western countries, Musharraf said that "Pakistan is on the verge of destabilization" and called for international support in fighting extremism and transitioning the country to democracy. AFP has more. The Associated Press of Pakistan has local coverage.
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Also Saturday, Musharraf promulgated two new press ordinances prohibiting print and electronic media from publishing or broadcasting material aiding and abetting terrorism or defaming public officials. APP has more.
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