Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf on Saturday imposed emergency rule, a move that will put off elections due in January.
Here are some facts about Musharraf:
* The second of three brothers, Musharraf was born into a middle class Muslim family in India in August 1943. His family moved to the newly created majority-Muslim state of Pakistan following India's independence and partition in 1947. He spent seven years in Turkey, during his civil servant father's posting to Ankara. In 1956 the family settled in Karachi, where Musharraf attended Roman Catholic and other Christian schools.
* Entering the Pakistan Military Academy in 1961, the keen sportsman and career military man first saw action as a young officer in the 1965 war against India and was decorated for gallantry. Marrying in 1968, he endured the army's humiliating defeat by India in the 1971 war and served for seven years in Pakistan's special service commando group.
* Promoted to the rank of general and named army chief in October, 1998, Musharraf seized power from then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in 1999 in a bloodless coup. He first led the country as chief executive and then won a five-year presidential term in a 2002 referendum critics say was rigged.
* One of President George W. Bush's most important non-NATO allies in Washington's war on terrorism, supporters paint Musharraf as a strong leader who can save Pakistan's moderate Muslim majority from militant, religious extremism seeping into cities from tribal areas along the northwest frontier. However a bloody army assault on Islamabad's Red Mosque in July, during which 102 people were killed, led to a rise in attacks by Islamist militants that have killed several hundred people.
Source: Reuters, Presidential Web site ( www.presidentofpakistan.gov.pk/Biography.aspx )