Friday, August 3, 2007

Pakistan: In The Line Of Fire -- A Comprehensive Report

This year has been one of tumult and challenge for the administration of President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan. Last year, he had tried to deal with the twin threats of "legitimate" Islamists and terrorists who were threatening to undermine the nation. Within the National Assembly's 342 seats, there are 63 seats that belong to members of a coalition of six Islamist parties known as the MMA (Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal or United Action Front). The MMA members of parliament forced a compromise when Musharraf tried to water down the so-called Hudood Ordinances. These religious laws were introduced by the dictator Zia ul-Haq in 1979 with the full blessing of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, which is now the main member of the MMA coalition. The Hudood laws meant that any woman who complained of being raped could be found guilty of adultery if she could not provide four (male and Muslim) witnesses.

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