Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf has fled his country and has sought asylum in Chile.
The desperate action came after Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali resigned.
United States President George W Bush has announced that American troops have landed at Karachi airport and would take control of the situation shortly, to prevent rioting and bloodshed.
Pakistan's neighbor India said it would not intervene, but would not mind sending its troops to patrol the country, if asked to by the US.
In Chile, Musharraf said he had fled ‘my beloved country' after a man flashed a Swiss knife at him, at a public meeting. ‘I feared for my life,' he admitted.
On why he chose Chile, Musharraf laughed and said, ‘Everybody has the impression that it is hot in Chile, as they associate the country's name with pungent chillies. In fact, it's a cool place. It's quite chilly here.'
The general said he had no intention stage a military coup in Chile.
Initial reports on www.drudgereport.com had stated that Musharraf had staged a coup in Chile.
In Washington, Bush said he would fly down to Chile to convince Musharraf to return to Pakistan, as the country needed him very badly.
Meanwhile, unconfirmed reports coming in said former Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee would be approached to be Pakistan's new president-cum-prime minister.