|MILITARY RULE IN PAKISTAN|
October 15, 1999
Pakistan's military commander Gen. Pervaiz Musharraf took full control of his country's government Friday, dissolving the Pakistani Parliament and suspending the constitution.
-- Posted 1:15 PM ET
move comes three days after a bloodless coup against Prime Minister
Nawaz Sharif. General Musharraf has declared a state of emergency, heightening
international concerns about the status of the world's newest nuclear
"The United States continues to believe Pakistan's best interests
would be served by a prompt return to civilian rule and the restoration
of the democratic process," State Department Spokesman James Foley
U.S. Ambassador William Milam met with the army chief for two hours
Friday to press for a return to democracy. Musharraf did not give an
indication of his intentions or his timeline, according to U.S. diplomats,
but the conversation was "good."
Friday's announcement has heightened tensions between Pakistan and
neighboring India. The two countries have fought three wars since they
became independent from Britain 52 years ago.
"Pakistan is effectively under martial law following a military
coup," Raminder Singh Jassal, a spokesman for India's Ministry
of External Affairs, said in a statement. Bilateral talks between the
two nations have been discontinued.
Musharraf addressed the people of Pakistan Friday morning in his second
broadcast since Tuesday's coup. He did not indicate how long the military
would hold the reins of government.
At a meeting with his senior military commanders, the army chief said
that he was working on "an efficient and impartial interim setup,
which would ensure stability, credibility, transparency and accountability
in running the affairs of state."
The military threw remaining lawmakers and administrators out of the
parliament building as they sealed it off. The parliament had been scheduled
to meet Friday. Meanwhile, the State Bank of Pakistan issued an order
freezing accounts belonging to Pakistan's lawmakers "until further
army appears to have been bolstered by the support it has received since
ousting the 31-month-old Sharif government. The military seized power
hours after Sharif fired Musharraf.
According to Musharraf, Prime Minister Sharif remains under house arrest.