Nearly two weeks after throwing out Pakistan's elected government, the army announced the formation today of a National Security Council to run the country until the military chief decides to hold elections.
Gen. Pervez Musharraf, who led the Oct. 12 bloodless coup that ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, will head the seven-person council of military officers and civilians.
Musharraf has not said when elections will be held, and few Pakistanis seem eager for them any time soon, preferring to see endemic corruption tackled first. Western leaders, however, are pressing Pakistan's military leader to announce a time frame for a return to democracy.
Pakistan Television announced the makeup of the National Security Council. It also said Abdus Sattar, a former ambassador to India, was named the military government's foreign minister, while former banker Shaukat Aziz was named finance minister and Aziz Munshi became attorney general.
The council, made up of former officials in previous military governments, will run the country, directing the cabinet under the advice of a think tank, whose members have not been announced.
As the announcement was made, Musharraf was on a trip to Saudi Arabia, where he was scheduled to meet with King Fahd and other officials and to make a pilgrimage to Islamic holy sites.
In addition to Musharraf, the military members of the council are Air Chief Marshal Pervaiz Mehdi Qureshi and Naval Chief Adm. Abdul Aziz Mirza.
The civilian members are: Sharifuddin Pirzada, a lawyer who will be a senior adviser to Musharraf; Mohammed Yaqub, governor of the State Bank of Pakistan; Imtiaz Sahibzada, a retired bureaucrat from the tribal Northwest Frontier Province; and Attiya Inayatullah, a social worker and former adviser on family planning.