Musharraf may impose martial law to retain grip on power: NYT

November 14th, 2007 - 8:20 am ICT by admin  
According to the newspaper, since Monday, American and European diplomats have been urging Musharraf to refrain from imposing an emergency to maintain his hold on power.

“What they are saying is that this would put in jeopardy all kinds of assistance and support. It would be just very difficult to support this government,” the report quotes a Western diplomat, as saying.

The NYT cites reports that the Musharraf regime has drafted an order to impose a state of emergency. While the details of the order have not been released, it could increase Musharraf’s powers and delay nation-wide elections due in January.

Admiral William Fallon, the US Central Command (Centcom) chief, arrived in Islamabad on Thursday night for a meeting with the General to discuss rising militant attacks in the country, the report notes.

“For the last few months several senior American officials have visited or telephoned Musharraf, and urged him not to impose emergency rule.

In August, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called him at 2 a.m. and pressed him not to declare emergency rule,” the NYT recalls.

On Friday, Rice said the US opposed any move by Musharraf to impose martial law and Pakistan must proceed with elections next year.

Rice urged Musharraf to go ahead with the elections as planned for January.

“I am not going to get into the details of our conversations, but I think it would be quite obvious that the US would not be supportive of extra-constitutional means,” she said. (ANI)

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