Musharraf declares emergency rule in Pakistan

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Pervez Musharraf has invoked emergency rule in Pakistan according to state television. Independent stations have gone off the air.

Pervez Musharraf has ruled Pakistan since 1999

Reports say that police have surrounded the Supreme Court of Pakistan, while the judges are still inside. The court is deciding whether Musharraf was eligible to run in last month's election, which he won. The Supreme Court has stated that Musharraf does not have the authority to declare the state of emergency, which includes a suspension of the Constitution.

Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who recently returned home, is currently out of the country, visiting family in Dubai.

Dawn News, a private television station in Pakistan had stated that sources said that a declaration of emergency rule was imminent. Dawn News and other private news organizations then went off the air. Some reports are also saying that land and cell lines into the capital are not functioning, but it is not clear if this is deliberate or is due to high traffic or some other concern.

Most other countries have responded negatively to this news. The United States said that it was "disappointed" by the move while the United Kingdom's foreign secretary said that it was vital that Pakistan "abides by the commitment to hold free and fair elections on schedule".


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