Tuesday, October 12, 1999 Published at 19:47 GMT 20:47 UK
World: South Asia
India expresses grave concern
Mr Vajpayee has sought improved relations with Pakistan
By Daniel Lak in Delhi
India took a few hours to react to the events in Pakistan, caught as much by surprise as any other country.
The Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, was said to be watching television to keep up to date.
A military takeover at this stage in India-Pakistan relations is about the worst possible development.
Despite the fighting in Kashmir between Indian and Pakistani forces earlier this year, there were high hopes that Mr Vajpayee's re-election would lead to a resumed peace process between the two old enemies.
Troops on high alert
A hardline, military-led government in Islamabad would be reluctant to see any settlement of the Kashmir dispute that fell short of the entire territory joining Pakistan.
Also bad from India's point of view would be a chaotic situation in Pakistan, with armed resistance to the army's move sparking violence on the streets.
The Indian military has apparently put its units on heightened alert as events unfold.
India's new government had hoped to turn its attention quickly to the economy, but it is now going to have its early agenda dominated by a dangerous regional crisis on its very border.