Pakistan Update: No Shutterdowns

The country is quiet in the wake of the presidential election while they await the Supreme Court ruling on the challenges. In Islamabad the All Parties Democracy Movement (APDM) demonstration was muted, and MQM Musharraf supporters were more numerous than demonstrators.

In Pakistan it’s not a real demonstration unless there are thousands present, and the effective demonstrations typically bring whole cities to a complete halt. These are known as “shutter-downs” when all businesses put down their metal shutters to prevent damage during demonstrations which sometimes resemble near-riots. During a shutter-down strategic intersections and roads are completely blocked by masses of people, and the city comes to a screeching halt.

The population of Islamabad is thin during the holidays since the city has an artificially inflated population as the hub of government — at least a third of the population leaves for a week or more to spend time with their full families in other cities during Eid.

In the Wazir region the cat and mouse continues with the Al Qaeda and Taliban, several more terrorists were killed after an ambush on a military convoy. 22 have been killed and the army spokesman says the assault on the terrorists hold outs continues with artillery and gunships.

Also in North Wazirisatan AQ forces captured 28 more soldiers; while in Swat/Malakand a tribal jirga rebuffed calls from TNSM’s Fazlullah for strict sharia law enforcement.