DATE=10/15/1999 TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT TITLE=PAKISTAN / STATE OF EMERGENCY NUMBER=5-44519 BYLINE=SCOTT ANGER DATELINE=ISLAMABAD CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Pakistan Army Chief, General Pervez Musharraf has imposed virtual martial law and has declared himself chief executive of the country. V-O-A's Scott Anger reports from Islamabad. TEXT: The announcement comes three days after General Musharraf ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a bloodless coup. Pakistan's political structure has been dissolved as the country comes under full military rule. Army spokesman Rashid Qureshi outlines the general's order. ///QURESHI ACTUALITY/// The prime minister, the federal ministers, ministers of state, advisors to the prime minister, parliamentary secretaries, the provincial governors, the provincial chief ministers, the provincial ministers, and the advisors to the chief ministers shall cease to hold office. The whole of Pakistan will come under the control of the armed forces of Pakistan. This proclamation shall come into force at once. ///END ACTUALITY/// No indication has been given as to how long the constitution will be suspended. The statement says Pakistani figurehead President Rafiq Tarar will remain in office. General Musharraf and the president have held talks but without result. Friday's order -- issued by General Musharff shortly after midnight -- did not use the words "martial law." But experts are describing the move as being close to martial law. Najam Sethi is the editor of a prominent Pakistani weekly newspaper, the "Friday Times." ///SETHI ACTUALITY/// In a sense, it's different from the straight-forward martial laws of the past. The difference lies in the fact that their (the military's) intentions of keeping the assemblies on the cards and their intention to try to work within that (work with the assemblies) is quite clear. That is why - until they (the military) get rid of the assemblies - it is what you might call a "half-hearted" martial law. ///END ACTUALITY/// Mr. Sethi says the army's move will end two days of speculation and confusion that have surrounded Pakistan after the dismissal of Prime Minister Nawaz Shairf's government Tuesday. ///SETHI ACTUALITY /// (General) Musharraf is basically saying, `We don't want to delay in making decisions." We've tried in the last day or two to see if we could work within a constitutional framework but that doesn't seem possible (so) now we are now going to give up our efforts to do that. Meanwhile, we are going to get on with business. We are going to take decisions and are not going to allow those decisions to be challenged. ///END ACTUALITY /// Tuesday's coup came after months of growing tension between General Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Their relationship began to rapidly deteriorate following Mr. Sharif's order to withdraw Pakistan-backed forces fighting Indian troops in the disputed region of Kashmir in July. Pakistan's military viewed the order as a betrayal by the prime minister. Tuesday, while General Musharraf was in Sri Lanka on official business, Prime Minister Sharif dismissed him and named the head of Pakistan's intelligence service as a replacement. Within an hour of the order -- while the general was airborne on his way back to Pakistan -- troops swiftly moved into the capital seizing government buildings and placing the prime minister under arrest. General Musharraf appeared early Wednesday morning on state-run television, wearing combat fatigues, to announce that the 32-month government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had been removed. Pakistan has been ruled by the military for nearly half of its 52-year existence. The last military dictator -- General Zia ul-Haq -- suspended the constitution and declared martial law in July 1977. General Zia ruled Pakistan for 11 years, until he died in a plane crash in August 1988. His death paved the way for democratic elections in the country. The military says Nawaz Sharif and a number of ministers are under what they call "protective custody" outside Islamabad. An army spokesman says the military has compiled evidence proving Mr. Sharif had been plotting against the military and that he leaked defense secrets. The spokesman would not elaborate on the charges. But front-page newspaper stories published Friday say an investigative body has been established to probe the accusations against Mr. Sharif. Meanwhile, life is normal on the streets of the capital. For most Pakistanis, the military takeover of the impoverished nation will have little impact. An informal poll conducted in three of Pakistan's largest cities indicates about 75 percent of the people welcomed the ouster of the increasingly unpopular prime minister. Many say Mr. Sharif's policies and actions did little to improve the lives of average citizens living in Pakistan. (SIGNED) NEB/SA / wd 15-Oct-1999 06:47 AM EDT (15-Oct-1999 1047 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .