Musharraf Set to Declare State of Emergency
Well – he’s learning from the best…….
The political crisis in Pakistan deepened last night as President Musharraf was poised to impose a state of emergency, a move that would grant him sweeping powers.
First indications of the clampdown came when General Musharraf cancelled a visit to Kabul, where he was due to address a joint jirga (council) of Pakistani and Afghan tribal elders. Officials denied reports that the President had decided to declare a state of emergency, but other sources said that an announcement was imminent.
General Musharraf has convened a meeting today of Cabinet ministers, the Attorney-General and leaders of the ruling party to finalise his plans.
“These are only unconfirmed reports, although the possibility of imposing emergency cannot be ruled out and has recently been discussed, keeping in mind some external and internal threats and the law-and-order situation,” Tariq Azim Khan, the Deputy Information Minister, said.
Emergency rule would allow General Musharraf, who seized power in a coup in 1999, to extend the tenure of the national and provincial assemblies by 12 months and to delay elections that are due at the end of the year.
The Government could explain such a step by citing a recent spate of suicide attacks across the country and the growing security threat posed by Islamist militants allied to the Taleban and al-Qaeda.
From The Times