Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf has declared emergency rule, state-run TV has reported, as independent channels went off air. Paramilitary troops have been deployed inside state-run television and radio stations in Islamabad, witnesses said.
Gen Musharraf is awaiting a Supreme Court ruling on whether he was eligible to run for re-election last month while remaining army chief.
Pakistan has been engulfed in political upheaval in recent months.
The security forces have suffered a series of blows from pro-Taleban militants opposed to Gen Musharraf’s support for the US-led “war on terror”.
The BBC’s Barbara Plett reports from Islamabad that fears have been growing in the government that the Supreme Court ruling could go against Gen Musharraf.
Private channels Geo News and Dawn News earlier quoted unnamed sources as saying the government had made up its mind to declare emergency rule. Shortly afterwards they came off air.
A special cabinet meeting is expected shortly.
One TV channel reported that emergency rule may involve the suspension of the constitution.
Parliamentary elections are due in January.
Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who recently returned to the country after years of self-exile to lead her party in the elections, is currently in Dubai on a personal visit.