Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf is under pressure from close ally Washington to lift emergency rule and quit his military post. He yesterday promised parliamentary elections early next year. But as protests take place in numerous cities, it is reported that hundreds of lawyers and opposition politicians have been arrested.
Observers say the crackdown seems to pre-empt the possibility the Supreme Court will soon rule that Musharraf’s recent re-election was invalid because he stood while still army chief. Lawyers have accused Musharraf of dismissing judges who cause him problems, and filling the Supreme Court with his supporters.