Pakistan media is reporting that Pervez Musharraf, the Pakistan president, is on the point of announcing a state of emergency for one month.
The decision followed a meeting between the president, top military leaders and other government officials on Wednesday.
The possibility of emergency rule has been mooted for months.
Three reasons were given for the move: the recent threat of US air strikes on the country, the recent kidnapping of Chinese workers and the ongoing heated debates within Pakistan's national assembly on the country's future.
Geo TV reported that the emergency could be extended to three months.
Kamal Hyder, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Pakistan said the state of emergency would give the government greater control.
"Civil liberties will be suspended such as the right of speech. It will be difficult for the people," Hyder reported.
Earlier on Wednesday, Musharraf pulled out of a peace meeting with tribal elders in Afghanistan.
The president told Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, that he would send Shaukat Aziz, the prime minister, in his place.
The council meeting, or jirga, was due to start on Thursday and had been brokered by the US president.
Sean McCormack, US state department spokesman, said that Pakistani officials had discussed Musharraf's reason for skipping the meeting with US and Afghan officials, but he would not elaborate on Pakistan's explanation.
McCormack said: "President Musharraf certainly wouldn't stay back in Islamabad if he didn't believe he had good and compelling reasons to stay back. Certainly we would understand that."
Last Mod: 09 Ağustos 2007, 10:37