Tuesday, October 12, 1999 Published at 19:27 GMT 20:27 UK
World: South Asia
Pakistan army seizes power
Soldiers scaled the gates of Pakistan Television in Islamabad
The army in Pakistan has announced the dismissal of the government after seizing control of key installations across the country.
The action followed the dismissal of Pakistan's army chief, General Pervez Musharraf, who is to address the nation shortly.
The governments of the United States and India have expressed concern at the developments in Pakistan, and the Indian army has been placed on high alert.
And the governor of Pakistan's central bank has announced a bank holiday on Wednesday, apparently to arrest a massive outflow of foreign exchange from the country.
Army moves in
The army takeover began only minutes after General Musharraf was removed from his post.
Mr Sharif appointed the head of the country's intelligence service, General Ziauddin, in his place.
Earlier state television went off air after soldiers scaled the gates of the building and took control.
Mr Sharif had been scheduled to visit the television studios.
"It seems the army is not accepting this sacking and they may now be determined to take over .. which part of the army we don't know," he said.
"The electorate support the democratic government in Pakistan and opposition parties have stated that they would not back a military takeover."
Tensions with government
Former Pakistan Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto, told the BBC that the army's action was a result of Mr Sharif's politicisation of the military.
No reason has been given for the decision to replace General Musharraf, who has just returned to Pakistan after a trip to Sri Lanka.
Earlier this month, the government said that the general had been confirmed as both the head of the army and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff until 2001.
The withdrawal came after the United States intervened to end some two months of fighting in the disputed territory.
The statement led to speculation that the army might be considering some move against the government.
Nawaz Sharif appointed General Musharaf last year when the former army chief, General Jehangir Karamat, stepped down after making remarks that were regarded as critical of Mr Sharif.
The BBC's Owen Bennett-Jones in Islamabad says the fact that the government of Nawaz Sharif has overseen the departure of two army chiefs within such a short space of time is likely to cause unease in the army.
The army has ruled Pakistan for 25 of its 52-year history.
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