DATE=10/13/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=PAKISTAN COUP (L) NUMBER=2-254964 BYLINE=AYAZ GUL DATELINE=ISLAMABAD INTERNET=YES CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Less than 24-hours after a bloodless military coup in Pakistan removed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Pakistanis awoke (Wednesday) to an air of normality and business as usual, but with the army chief firmly in control. Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad, most people on the streets in the capital city are supporting the military take over and hope it will not last long. TEXT: There is a widespread uncertainty in Pakistan about its political system. The army chief has not yet made a promised policy statement, a day after he lead a military coup to remove Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from power. The army's move is being greeted with conflicting sentiments. People want the coup makers to clean up the system, but they want democracy restored in Pakistan. Successive governments have been accused of corruption and miss-rule, and that is why few people disagree with the military's move. Banker Abbas Ahmed says the military coup did not come as a surprise. // ABBAS ACT // Considering the incidents in the past few months, I feel everyone was expecting that something like this would happen. A change was due. // END ACT // A private business executive in Islamabad, Asif Aleem, says Pakistanis should not be proud of military coups. // ALEEM ACT // No, I am not really happy with it. But the thing is that the country right now desperately needed this. This is the best thing that has happened in a long time to this country. And Nawaz Sharif and his gang of looters had done what they had to do and we really needed to get rid of him. They had brought the country on the brink of a collapse and, in fact, we already had a collapse. The economy had gone down the drain. We needed somebody to pick the economy up; we needed somebody to bring the country back to its feet. And I think this is a good thing that has happened. // END ACT // Mr. Aleem says successive political governments have failed to deliver in the past. // ALEEM ACT TWO // If you look at the history of Pakistan during the last 52-years, this is exactly what has been happening in this country. One democratic government comes, it starts and takes the charge of the country and suddenly things go wrong. Why? Then the army always has to interfere. It had to interfere to make things right. And this has happened once again. // END ACT // The military coup against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's government is the fourth such action in Pakistan's 52-years history. Tuesday's military coup resulted from months of confrontations between Prime Minister Sharif and army chief General Pervez Musharaf -- particularly over the withdrawal of Pakistani forces from Indian Kashmir early this year. The Sharif government had on several occasions indicated it was the military leadership, and not the political leadership that sent forces to occupy territory in Indian Kashmir. Analysts say Mr. Sharif's conflicts with the military, unemployment, and the declining economy fueled people's desires to see him out of office. Average Pakistanis say they saw Mr. Sharif as a power-hungry ruler who was paying less and less attention to improving the country's situation. Imran Shirazi, a government employee, says it is this view which has lead to the removal of the Sharif government. // IMRAN SHIRAZI // As they say, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. And the same was the case with Mr. Nawaz Sharif's government. He was on a winning streak and he thought that he could win the whole Pakistan on his own, but it was not so. And in the end he had to go home. // END ACT // The military has ruled Pakistan for almost half its 52-year existence. The last military regime came to an abrupt end in 1988 when military dictator Zia ul- Haq died in a plane crash, which lead to the revival of democracy in Pakistan. (SIGNED) NEB/AG/RAE 13-Oct-1999 09:52 AM EDT (13-Oct-1999 1352 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .