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October 13, 1999
Musharraf reaches Islamabad
Pakistan coup leader General Pervez Musharraf returned to the capital Islamabad today, a day after he overthrew the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharief, state media reported.
The army moved quickly last night to seize control of key government buildings and surround Sharief's official residence shortly after it was announced that Sharief had sacked General Musharraf.
The spokesman also said all the (army) corps were loyal and acted upon the instructions of the army chief.
Meanwhile, troops seized key provincial government offices in Karachi today and were still in control of the city's airport, witnesses and airport officials said.
They said army personnel swooped on the Sindh secretariat buildings in the southern commercial district -- where all major government offices are located -- and asked employees to leave immediately.
Witnesses said that earlier army troops and the police had cordoned off the two gates leading to the Sindh government buildings.
''The main gates of the secretariat building have been closed and employees who had reached their offices earlier were asked to vacate the building immediately,'' one witness said.
Similar incidents also occurred in other parts of the country overnight soon after the coup.
Government employees said there was confusion this morning and that no one knew why they were prevented from going to their offices.
''We were forced to leave our office and had no other option,'' said one government employee who asked not to be identified.
There were also chaotic scenes outside the Karachi stock exchange building where troops stopped brokers from entering the exchange building. A large crowd had gathered there.
All financial markets were closed today.
Officials at the Karachi airport said the army was still in control of the airport, but that domestic flight operations had resumed.
''Two PIA flights left this morning and domestic flights will continue,'' one airport official said, but he added it was unclear when international flights would start.
Operations at the main Karachi port and Port Qasim were normal, port officials said.
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