The Pakistan government is mulling the option of imposing emergency in the country to deal with the violent backlash from militants after the bloody crackdown on the Lal Masjid, media reports said.
"The option of imposing emergency is being discussed amongst the power brokers since the suicide bombing incidents, which rocked the country after Lal Masjid operation," The Nation quoted officials as saying.
The next ten days are crucial for the government to take any decision. "The law and order will certainly be major reason behind imposition of emergency," they said.
Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz had a few monsth ago said that the option of clamping emergency was open for his government. He later clarified that he only stated a legal position in response to a question.
Meanwhile, President of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-(PML-Q) Shujaat Hussain said emergency can be imposed and general elections put off, if half of the opposition parties quit present assemblies to scuttle President Pervez Musharraf's re-election.
Hussain, however, said he rules out the possibility of the government using the Lal Masjid issue as a pretext to take such a drastic step, as apprehended by former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.
Musharraf, who was also army chief, could not even think of allowing the law and order situation to deteriorate to get a justification to impose emergency or delay the electoral process, he was quoted by local daily Dawn as saying.