ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Nov. 3 — 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.Opposition parties quickly gathered to denounce the move, which also blocked transmission of private television broadcasts nationwide.
The chief justice of the Supreme Court, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, was removed from his job and placed under house arrest. Musharraf had suspended the judge earlier this year, but he was later reinstated.
With his political future hanging on an upcoming Supreme Court decision, Musharraf had been said to be considering the move if the judgment did not go his way.
This is obviously not a good thing considering Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. The population was already up in arms about Musharraf’s dealing with the Supreme Court, even to the point of rioting. Journalists and opposition politicians are to be rounded up according to The New York Times.
Adding to the problem is an explosion yesterday, aimed at a Taliban bigwig, that killed 10 people. Many Pakistanis are blaming the US for the attack.
Again, not good. I’ll update later as more information comes out.