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Framing a Friendly Dictator: U.S. Newsmagazine Coverage of Pakistani President Musharraf After 9/11
Unformatted Document Text:  Framing a Friendly Dictator: U.S. Newsmagazine Coverage of Pakistani President Musharraf After 9/11 2 him as the “key partner in the global coalition against terrorism” (BBC News, February 14, 2002). Pakistan became an American ally despite the fact that it is, indeed, a dictatorial country, which, until recently, has been made up with terrorist organizations. According to the 2001 report of Amnesty International, Pakistan is not a free country. In the annual report on Pakistan (Amnesty International, 2001), Amnesty International reports that since Pervez Musharraf took power in a military coup in 1999 from a democratically elected government of Navaz Sharif, human rights in the country have deteriorated. Despite the government’s stated commitment to human rights protection, human rights violations including torture and deaths in custody increased during 2000. Minorities were not given adequate protection when religiously motivated violence flared up. Violence against women and children continued at a high level. Political activities remained restricted following a ban on public activities in March. Activists contravening the ban were detained and some were charged with sedition. Several people detained at the time of the coup remained in unlawful detention. The death penalty was frequently imposed, but was banned for juveniles. 1 Another non-governmental organization, Freedom House, 2 describes Pakistan as an undemocratic country whose regime seriously violates civil rights. This organization reports that, although the Pakistani President promised to “return Pakistan to civilian rule in 2002 after cleaning up the country's finances and politics, the Musharraf regime also undermined the judiciary, cracked down on party activists, and backtracked on some social reforms in the face of pressure from Islamic fundamentalists” (Freedom House, 2001.) On several occasions Musharraf promised to restore civilian rule when the mandate given to him by the Supreme Court expires, but he also expressed the intention to hold the Presidential position regardless of the elections’ outcomes, therefore already revealing that he does not intend to go through the standard democratic procedure. This research will explore how the American media portrayed the leader who has become one of the most controversial American allies after September 11. It will

Authors: Obad, Orlanda.
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Framing a Friendly Dictator: U.S. Newsmagazine Coverage of Pakistani
President Musharraf After 9/11
2
him as the “key partner in the global coalition against terrorism” (BBC News, February
14, 2002). Pakistan became an American ally despite the fact that it is, indeed, a
dictatorial country, which, until recently, has been made up with terrorist organizations.
According to the 2001 report of Amnesty International, Pakistan is not a free
country. In the annual report on Pakistan (Amnesty International, 2001), Amnesty
International reports that since Pervez Musharraf took power in a military coup in 1999
from a democratically elected government of Navaz Sharif, human rights in the country
have deteriorated.
Despite the government’s stated commitment to human rights protection, human rights
violations including torture and deaths in custody increased during 2000. Minorities were
not given adequate protection when religiously motivated violence flared up. Violence
against women and children continued at a high level. Political activities remained
restricted following a ban on public activities in March. Activists contravening the ban
were detained and some were charged with sedition. Several people detained at the time
of the coup remained in unlawful detention. The death penalty was frequently imposed,
but was banned for juveniles.
1
Another non-governmental organization, Freedom House,
2
describes Pakistan as
an undemocratic country whose regime seriously violates civil rights. This organization
reports that, although the Pakistani President promised to “return Pakistan to civilian rule
in 2002 after cleaning up the country's finances and politics, the Musharraf regime also
undermined the judiciary, cracked down on party activists, and backtracked on some
social reforms in the face of pressure from Islamic fundamentalists” (Freedom House,
2001.)
On several occasions Musharraf promised to restore civilian rule when the
mandate given to him by the Supreme Court expires, but he also expressed the intention
to hold the Presidential position regardless of the elections’ outcomes, therefore already
revealing that he does not intend to go through the standard democratic procedure.
This research will explore how the American media portrayed the leader who has
become one of the most controversial American allies after September 11. It will


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