Power breakdown in Pak sparks rumours of coup | india | Hindustan Times
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Power breakdown in Pak sparks rumours of coup

india Updated: Sep 25, 2006 13:30 IST

An unprecedented power failure across Pakistan on Sunday sparked rumours of a coup to unseat President Pervez Musharraf who in on an 18-day foreign tour.

All power grids in different parts of Pakistan failed at once this afternoon which was regarded by the power officials as the first-ever incident of its kind in Pakistan's history.

One grid after another tripped leaving the officials in the power department in a panic.

Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said the blackout occurred when a main distribution line short-circuited during routine maintenance, adding the power utility has been ordered to carry out an investigation.

Power has since been restored in capital Islamabad after over a two-hour breakdown but most of the other cities in Pakistan reeled under power failure with hospitals and business houses switching over to generators.

As power board officials appeared on TV channels to explain that the failure was due to a technical fault, Islamabad was abuzz with rumours that a Thailand-style coup has taken place.

Media offices were flooded with calls, making a number of newsmen to rush out to the main thoroughfares in the capital to check whether any military activity was taking place.

General Musharraf, who holds the powerful position of army chief besides being the President, recently laughed off any threat to his power base when he was asked about the stability of his regime.

The fact that he has had a lengthy and a relaxed foreign tour showed that there was no imminent danger to his disposition in Islamabad, he said.

Musharraf is currently touring the US where his book In the Line of Fire is scheduled to be released on Monday.

The Pakistani President himself seized power in a military coup in October 1999.

The General has not looked back since and consolidated his hold on the army and the administration by joining the US-led anti-terror campaign since September 11, 2001.

Pakistan predominantly relies on hydroelectricity from the Mangla and Tarbela reservoirs.

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