State of Emergency a coup? The Constitution is now suspended: is this an Army take-over? Though the Washington Post and others are saying President Musharraf is declaring a state of emergency, other sources are saying that Musharraf is not fully in charge here. It's the Chief of Army Staff who declared the State of Emergency, not President Musharraf.
UPDATE at 15:43 GMT from the BBC:
Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf has declared emergency rule and suspended the country's constitution.So apparently at this moment, it was President Musharraf who's in charge and declaring the state of emergency. Events are moving fast in Pakistan. First it was the Red Mosque; last month it was an attempt on the life of candidate Bhutto. Now it's a state of emergency has been declared.
Troops have been deployed inside state-run TV and radio stations, while independent channels have gone off air.
Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, who condemned the moves, has reportedly been sacked and is being confined to the Supreme Court with 10 other judges.
It comes as the court was due to rule on the legality of Gen Musharraf's re-election victory in October.
The Court was to decide whether Gen Musharraf was eligible to run for election last month while remaining army chief.
Now comes news from Noblesse Oblige that the state of emergency is coming from the Chief of Army Staff. Coup-time anyone?
UPDATE: The Chief of Army Staff declared the state of emergency, not President Musharraf — this could be a Coup in the shaping; or it could be a ploy to get the court to finish the deliberations on the challenges prior to the November 15th date when Musharraf’s holding of two offices definitely becomes unconstitutional.The Washington Post is reporting that Musharraf is still in charge and has declared the state of emergency, but other sources dispute this. From the Washington Post:
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf declared emergency rule Saturday, suspending the constitution amid a heavy security presence including armored personnel carriers on the streets of the capital.
Musharraf, who instituted a provisional constitution, was expected to address the nation later and cite continuing fighting in the turbulent Swat Valley as his reason.
We'll let the sources sort themselves out over the day. Major news channels are off the air, at last report, so news may be slow coming.
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