October 12, 1999 – A Coup Comes To Pakistan
October 12, 1999, news for this day was fast-moving. A coup was taking place in Islamabad Pakistan, unfolding as fast as the news could report it. Largely a bloodless coup, centered around the takeover of an elected government by a Military one. Elected Pakistani President Nawaz Sharif had attempted to fire General Pervez Musharraf, the end result of long-simmering tensions between the government and the military. Mushareff was in Sri Lank when word of the firing was announced. The military, loyal to Musharraf, refused to follow Sharif’s orders and promptly took over, declaring a State of Emergency while seizing the government radio and TV stations as well as occupying the Presidential palace. Troops also took over the airports and cut off all phone communication going outside of Pakistan.
But while these newscasts were going, it was an unfolding story as news organizations scrambled for updates and reports. Shortly after Musharraf landed back in Pakistan, he went on Radio and TV and delivered the following statement:
Pervez Musharraf: “In pursuance of deliberations and decisions of chiefs of staff of the Armed Forces and corps commanders of Pakistan Army, I General Pervez Musharraf, chairman joint chiefs of staff committee and chief of army staff, proclaim emergency throughout Pakistan and assume the office of the chief executive of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
I hereby order and proclaim as follows:
(a) The constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan shall remain in abeyance
(b) The president of Pakistan shall continue in office
(c) The National Assembly, the provincial assemblies and Senate shall stand suspended
(d) The chairman and deputy chairman of the Senate, the speaker and deputy speaker of the National Assembly and the provincial assemblies shall stand suspended
(e) The prime minister, the federal ministers, ministers of state, advisers to the prime minister, parliamentary secretaries, the provincial governors, the provincial chief ministers, the provincial ministers and the advisers to the chief ministers shall cease to hold office
(f) The whole of Pakistan will come under the control of the Armed Forces of Pakistan.
This proclamation shall come into force at once and be deemed to have taken effect on the 12th day of October, 1999.”
Tense hours went by, as news reports kept filing in and the full extent of the coup would be known in a matter of days.
Meanwhile – the last session for the Grand Jury regarding the infamous Jon-Benet Ramsey murder case was underway in Boulder, Colorado. The Grand Jury was thought to be preparing a report on their findings of the 14-month investigation, which was scheduled to end within one week. And while the newscast was going, on top of everything, word from the Supreme Court that the conviction of Terry Nichols, accomplice in the Oklahoma City bombing case was upheld, along with the Life Sentence of Nichols.
All that, and much more for this October 12, 1999 as reported by CBS Radio News Updates and Hourly Newscasts.