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Wednesday, October 13, 1999 Published at 16:38 GMT 17:38 UK

World: South Asia

Pakistani coup spreads to the Internet

The hacked Punjab Government Website

Hackers have taken over one of the official Websites of the Pakistan Government as the tussle for power in the country spreads to the Internet.

Pakistan in crisis
The site, which is the official webpage of the provincial Punjab Government, now displays a message commending the Pakistan army for their success in overthrowing the Nawaz Sharif government.

Punjab happens to be Mr Sharif's home state.

At the same, the content of all other official Pakistan government sites has been taken off the Internet.

'Kargil heroes' praised

The official Punjab government homepage now has a picture of a downcast Nawaz Sharif with the message - "After all, hero's (sic) of Kargil have taken over".

It says the site is hacked by the "Islamic group of Hackers (Al-Sooraj wing)".

The homepage, now in a bright shade of green, also contains insults, all directed at the former prime minister. It describes him as 'brainless and hairless.'

The hackers have also put up pictures of the army action from Tuesday night.

A special message says the site is a tribute to the "SSG commandos", the elite paratrooper wing to which General Pervez Musharraf himself belongs.


The effects of the coup have also been felt on official sites. All official Pakistan Government Websites have been taken down.

Pages dedicated to the federal government, the ministry of foreign affairs and the ministry of commerce have all disappeared off the internet.

The homepage of the government site simply says "the site is temporarily down".

However, webpages dedicated to Pakistan's political parties have been left untouched.

Soon after news of the coup broke out on Tuesday, BBC News Online was inundated with emails from Pakistanis around the world, with their view on events at home.

Several thousand emails have been received since then, many in support of the military action.

Kashmir hacks

During the Kargil conflict between Indian and Pakistan earlier this year, computer hackers hijacked an Indian army Website on Kashmir, set up to present its version of events in the region.

Visitors to the altered Website found the homepage dominated by information on alleged torture of Kashmiris by the Indian security forces.

The hackers rededicated the site to "all the Kashmiri brothers who are suffering the brutal oppression of the Indian army".

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