Kamal Hyder, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Pakistan said the state of emergency would give the government greater control. 

"Civil liberties will be suspended such as the right of speech. It will be difficult for the people," Hyder reported.

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Earlier on Wednesday, Musharraf pulled out of a peace meeting with tribal elders in Afghanistan.

The president told Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, that he would send Shaukat Aziz, the prime minister, in his place.
 
The council meeting, or jirga, was due to start on Thursday and had been brokered by the US president.

Sean McCormack, US state department spokesman, said that Pakistani officials had discussed Musharraf's reason for skipping the meeting with US and Afghan officials, but he would not elaborate on Pakistan's explanation.

McCormack said: "President Musharraf certainly wouldn't stay back in Islamabad if he didn't believe he had good and compelling reasons to stay back. Certainly we would understand that."