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Pakistan buries its dead as Musharraf gives orders to fire on rioters

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Pakistan buries its dead as Musharraf gives orders to fire on rioters


The first of dozens of funerals are being held in Karachi for those killed in the political violence over the weekend. A total of 37 people died when pro and anti- government demonstrators clashed over President Musharraf’s suspension of a supreme court judge.

It was the worst street violence in two decades.

Musharraf has blamed the deaths on the decision by Chief Justice Iftikhar Choudhury to rally supporters in Pakistan’s largest city.

He has refused to declare a state of emergency in Karachi insisting the people are behind him.

He has however authorised paramilitary troops to shoot rioters.

But the chaos of Saturday eased slightly as the weekend went on.

The very independent-minded judge, who was suspended by Musharraf for undefined
“misconduct”, has refused to resign.

President Musharraf, also head of the army, is refusing to back down.

The judicial crisis has snowballed into the most serious challenge yet to Musharraf’s rule.

Parliamentary and presidential elections are looming in Pakistan. Musharraf wants to stay on as leader. For any change in the constitution he would need the backing of the supreme court.

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