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John Green discusses the political situation in Pakistan while eating 24 pumpkin Peeps. The next Scavenger Hunt clue will arrive once the current one has been solved.


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Good morning, Hank. It's Thursday, November 5th. In your video yesterday, you asked if I would discuss the political situation in Pakistan while eating something that isn't food. I am, of course, happy to accommodate that request.

While I discuss the political situation in Pakistan, I'm going to attempt to eat 24 Peeps pumpkins. Now, I know what you're saying. You're saying, "Wait a second. Peeps pumpkins are food." Oh, really? If they're food, how come they don't contain any nutrition?

Hank, for the purposes of our story today, we're going to begin in 1988. Pakistan is holding it's first free election in a decade. And the winner of the election is a woman, named Benazir Bhutto. The Prime Minister-ship of Pakistan went back and forth between Bhutto and this guy named Sharif. Now, Sharif happens to be president in 1999. And because the government's kind of corrupt and a lot of people aren't happy, there's wide-spread rumors that there might be a military takeover in Pakistan, which has happened plenty of times before.

The head of the army is this guy, Pervez Musharraf. Musharraf leaves the country to go on vacation, right? And while he's out of the country, Sharif announces that Musharraf is no longer the head of the army. And Musharraf gets on a plane, like a regular commercial plane. When he gets to Karachi, Sharif, the Prime Minister, says to the airport, You cannot let that plane land. And the airport's like, ok. You're the prime minster.

So, Musharraf's plane just keeps circling right? And Musharraf literally like uses the air phone in the plane. Or maybe he illegally used his cell phone I don't know. But, he calls the army and he was like, "Hey guys can you take over the airport in Karachi for me?" And they're like, "YEAH!". So they invade the Karachi airport, take it over, Musharraf's plane lands, with like 5 minutes to spare, and Perez Musharraf becomes the Prime Minster of Pakistan.

Now it's 1999 and Pakistan has just made its self a nuclear power, which made America mad, and then this unelected, dictator, general guy becomes Prime Minister.Which is just so like 1970's South America, you know? We're not getting along well with Pakistan at all and then on September 12th 2001, all of a sudden, Perez Musharraf, good friend of ours.

Now some people would say that Musharraf has been been generally pretty co-operative with the United States as far as terrorism goes and that is true to an extent but I would argue that the radicalization of Pakistan would never have even happened if it hadn't have been for Musharraf. Example; the last time there were free elections in Pakistan in the late 1990's, radicalism Islamic political parties won about 6% of the vote as I recall. Now analysts say they could reach up to 40% of a free vote.

Now, during this time the only thing that is keeping Pakistan from being an all out dictatorship is that Pakistan still has a kind of Quasi independent judiciary. So in early 2007 the Supreme Court made Musharraf mad and he asked the leader of the Supreme Court to resign and the leader of the Supreme court said, "No thank you."

This kind of symbolized his general weakening plus there had been a lot of talk about elections and so Bhutto and Sharif see this as their opportunity to come back out of exile, back to Pakistan and restore democracy...or at the very least become the new dictator.

So Sharif flies in from Saudi Arabia last month and he is met at the airport by the army who tell him nicely that he should consider going back Saudi Arabia or consider dying in jail. Sharif, needless to say, don't like it. I've been waiting like 20 minutes to tell that joke.

Then Bhutto comes back from Dubai to Pakistan and she is actually allowed entrance into the country, although she is almost assassinated on the way to her house. Then Musharraf decides he is going to put most of the Supreme Court under house arrest along with a lot of the other top judges. He also decides to suspend the constitution and severely curtail freedom of press.

AHH YES! I ate the peeps!

The first people to protest the suspension of the constitution and the removal of these judges...all of Pakistan's lawyers. Hank how screwed up is that world when lawyers hold the moral high ground?! So Hank that's the news from Pakistan. I never thought I would say this in my life but go lawyers. I'll see you tomorrow.