""Extremists are roaming around freely in the country, and they are not scared
of law-enforcement agencies," the president said."
This presents a Catch-22 for the United States. On the one hand, Musharraf has been a fairly reliable ally in the war on terror. By contrast, the opposition is increasingly Islamist and anti-American. The sticking point is that Pakistan is a nuclear power. Americans naturally wish for free elections and do not like cozying up with dictators, but you have to consider having a nuclear arsenal in the hands of a jihadist government would be far worse. In this light, the U.S. response is predictable.
"US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the declaration of
emergency rule was "highly regrettable" and called upon Pakistan to have
free and fair elections."
One thing not reported however, is that neither side is friendly to the Christians in Pakistan. Persecution tends to increase in times of political upheaval, so keep the Pakistani Brothers and Sisters in your prayers.