Interview with a Pakistani blogger
We're still checking in on those blogs coming out of Pakistan and one of the most active ones is the the Pakistani Spectator. They've been updating their site at least every hour or so with breaking news they say is exclusive, hitting the blogs before it goes out on the national TV stations.
They've got 15 bloggers roaming the streets of Rawalpindi, Lahore, Karachi and other cities, filing their tales of murders, looting and fires from their Blackberries. One of those bloggers is actually the founder of the Pakistani Spectator, and we called him up to find out what he's seen today and how his countrymen are dealing with the murder of Benazir Bhutto. He asked us to keep his name confidential for fear of reprisals.
Here's some of his conversation today with the BPP's Alison Stewart and John Fugelsang.
. . . A mob just came out on the street, a very angry mob, and what they did they first set fire to a factory and then they started close firing. And there was an office of PMLQ there- the Musharraf loyalist party. They just start to attack that office and kill all the people that was in there; there was three of them I think.
We asked the founder and blogger for the Pakistani Spectator about the reaction in the streets after news hit of Bhutto's death, a murderous rampage they exclusively reported from Karachi, the ability of the press to move and report freely and the political future of Pakistan.
The immediate reaction was disbelief because if you remember in the same year on 18th October a murder attempt was made on Benazir when she came back to country after self exile and she also escaped that. And the initial reaction of the people was utter disbelief. They were shocked and they were angry but they thought initially that Benazir had just gone subconscious [sic] due to the shock . . .
Our blogger is at Lyari, which is the main flash point of Karachi where Benazir enjoys a very popular support. And what happened there is that a mob just came out on the street, a very angry mob, and what they did they first set fire to a factory and then they started close firing. And there was an office of PMLQ there, the Musharraf loyalist party. They just start to attack that office and kill all the people that was in there; there was three of them I think. And then the mob came out on the streets in other parts of Karachi where also our blogger was present and he also saw two people dying in the riots . . .
Initially there was utter disbelief and shock for the government. They didn't even stop live TV coverage of the event because the live TV coverage is banned but it is not due to the emergency . . .
[Musharraf's] already in a big mess and this will more than likely create many problems for him. But I also see a silver lining in this because what I have seen in my looking around and reading what are the news coming from all over the country says, the political workers of all the parties including the arch rivals, PMN and the People's Party and MQM, they all have gathered and they are protesting along. So I think this is a chance for all the Pakistani politicians to just launch a combined strike to pave the way for the democracy, for the free media, for the free judiciary. And our nation has been mobilized automatically by this event. I can see that, I can feel that in the air that the nation has been mobilized . . .