Musharraf declares state of emergency in Pakistan

General Musharraf. Not President... General.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Nov. 3 — The Pakistani leader, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, declared a state of emergency tonight, blacking out all independent news media and confronting Supreme Court justices who are deliberating on the recent vote to re-elect him.

Witnesses said that police forces had surrounded the Supreme Court building, with justices still inside. Earlier, the justices were ordered to sign a provisional constitutional order enabling the emergency decree, with the government leaving implicit that any failing to do so would be dismissed. Still, a panel of at least 6 of the court’s 11 justices, including Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhrythis, rejected the order, according to Pakistani news reports before the blackout.

The six gathered at the Supreme Court building. Cellphone transmissions were blocked around the building.

The police also blocked access to the Parliament and to the homes of Supreme Court justices. Cellphone transmissions were also blocked at the justices’ homes.

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