Musharraf Shuts Down All Non-Government Media, Cuts Phone Lines
Military Goes On High Alert As Terror Threats Escalate
Tonight, President Musharraf locked down all of Pakistan under a state of emergency. The independent judiciary has been suspended, and all non-government media is said to be shut down. Most phone lines are believed to have been cut. India is holding emergency meetings. The Taliban has declared 'war' on Musharraf, for his allegiance to the US and the 'War On Terror'.
The Bush government has reacted to the news with growing horror :
The Pakistani leader, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, declared a state of emergency tonight, blacking out all independent news media and confronting Supreme Court justices who are deliberating on the recent vote to re-elect him.
Witnesses said that police forces had surrounded the Supreme Court building, with justices still inside. Earlier, the justices were ordered to sign a provisional constitutional order enabling the emergency decree, with the government leaving implicit that any failing to do so would be dismissed.
The declaration came in direct defiance of warnings by top American officials. The senior American military commander in the Middle East, Adm. William J. Fallon, told General Musharraf and his top generals in a meeting here on Friday that emergency rule would jeopardize the extensive American financial support for the Pakistani military.Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has personally intervened twice in the past four months to try to keep General Musharraf from imposing emergency rule, including telephoning him at 2 a.m. Pakistani time in August. Today, while traveling to Turkey for an Iraq security conference, she reinforced the message, saying, “I think it would be quite obvious that the United States wouldn’t be supportive of extra-constitutional means.”
The declaration came the day after Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the senior American military commander in the Middle East, Admiral William J. Fallon, both warned General Musharraf not to impose emergency rule. Admiral Fallon, meeting here with General Musharraf and his top generals, said such a move would jeopardize the extensive American financial support for the Pakistani military.
In the coming days the Supreme Court had been expected to rule on the constitutionality of General Musharraf’s re-election as president last month and of his ability to serve as both the country’s president and military leader.Publicly, Pakistani government officials said Friday that emergency rule could be justified because of clashes in the past week between security forces and Islamic militants in the Swat Valley, in the North-West Frontier Province, and because of the increasing number of suicide attacks against military and police installations.
From the Times Of India :
Pakistani security forces have been put on high alert here and nearby Rawalpindi following reports that militants could carry out more suicide attacks in the twin cities.
The Interior Ministry alerted police in both cities about the possibility of more suicide strikes, following which security was further tightened. Elite forces and policemen deployed at key sites have been provided with bullet-proof jackets, officials said.
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Latest news on the crisis can be found on the PakTribune site.