ISLAMABAD, Nov 5: Rumours about President Gen Pervez Musharraf having been ousted in a coup were quashed soon after the state-run television showed clippings of the general meeting foreign diplomats and taking oaths from Federal Shariat Court judges on Monday.

It was not clear who had started the rumours which spread like wild fire because of the blackout of independent television channels and caused anxiety in the country and triggered panic in the stock market.

The rumour was so intense that at one stage everything appeared to have come to a standstill.

“I have been flooded with calls and text messages. Everyone appears to be worried about a possible coup,” a journalist said.

At the time the rumours were circulating, Gen Musharraf was meeting foreign diplomats in his office. When asked about the rumours, the general is reported to have remarked: “The report is a joke of the highest order”.

Inter-Services Public Relations director-general Major Gen Waheed Arshad was quoted by different media organisations as saying: “These are just baseless rumours. The situation is normal and President Musharraf is functioning as usual”.

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