Musharaaf and PEMRA Shut Down Station in Pakistan






President Musharaaf of Pakistan and PEMRA (Pakistan’s version of the FCC,) have ammended rules for broadcast that effectively allow them to shut down political dissent in the run-up to the elections. It also allows the possibility of shutting down some of the mullah’s stations, such as the ones that broadcast against child vaccinations.

Which way it would be used was unclear until tonight. Already there are reports of general stations being shut down that broadcast political leaders in Pakistan.

This is a dangerous path. As can be seen from Venezuela’s attempts to shut down dissent, acting in this manner can create more unrest than allowing inflammatory views does. The good news is that the newspapers, blogs, and internet are still operative, and seem to very open, carrying many articles adamantly against the move.

This will keep the discussion to the educated, and cut off some provacateurs who appeal to the illiterate and poor, sometimes to bad results. That said, it’s always bad when government interfers with free discourse, and this is a blow to freedom. Normally I link to the stories in the papers, but tonight instead I will link to blogs, where they report that some stations have already been shut down. This way you will be able to get a sense for things in the comments.

The first report comes from Metroblogging Islamabad, and the second from All things Pakistan. I am also going to link to the Gupshup forum topic on this, you will get a good look at the full spectrum of opinion there.

Help Find Kelsey Smith


Kelsey Smith, an 18 year old from Overland Park Kansas, has been missing since Saturday when she dissappeared on a trip to the Target Store next to Oak Park Mall. Today they are passing flyers in the neighborhood, and in an effort to help get the word out I am posting here. The update went out a few minutes ago as well nationwide on Fox news.

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Pakistan Update: At a Crossroads

horizon.jpgThere’s a lot of politicking going on in Pakistan now, all parties are pitching invective back and forth, and many are criticizing the stifling of television and cable debates in which the Lawyers are critical of the army. That’s something you don’t do in Pakistan.

Meantime the papers still carry it all, and Reporters Without Borders has jumped in to criticize Musharaaf for muzzling the press.

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Tianamen Remembered

It’s the 18th anniversary of the Tianamen Square massacre in China, when students demonstrating and hunger-striking for Democracy were murdered en masse. To commemorate the brave souls whose tomorrows are all gone, who faced the end of all time but who will live on forever, here is the tankman who is timeless.

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