Emergency Rule in Pakistan: Coup d'Etat Cubed
Thought he might. This is not yet checkmate in the Pakistan endgame, there's a way to go yet, but this move - while long-expected - is highly significant. Musharraf has waited for Bhutto to leave the country for the weekend, and has reportedly surrounded the supreme court, home of his new enemies the legal fraternity. And - crucially - TV and radio are off the air.
Thus this incident has all the characteristics of a coup, though one held by the military already in charge. Musharraf came to power in what he called a 'counter-coup' against Nawaz Sharif's 'coup', though it's the winners that tend to write history. So I'd call this the beginnings of a coup to the power of three.
Musharraf is clearly using the steeply rising Islamist-inspired violence in the north-west as his inspiration, and indeed there is some traction to the concept of Pakistan really being in a state of emergency. The attack on Bhutto's homecoming convoy proved that. But it's above all a political move. The question is: how will it be used? With Bhutto and the lawyers closed down for the time being, can Musharraf use the opportunity to quash the militants once and for all - or will they bite him back? And in either case, what are the prospects for Pakistan sliding deeper into the morass rather than out of it?
Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf has declared emergency rule, state-run TV has said, amid reports that police have surrounded the Supreme Court.
Judges are believed to be inside the building in Islamabad, reports say.
Troops have been deployed inside state-run TV and radio stations, while independent channels have gone off air.
Gen Musharraf is awaiting a Supreme Court ruling on whether he was eligible to run for re-election last month while remaining army chief.