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Bhutto threatens march to Islamabad if emergency rule persists


Bhutto threatens march to Islamabad if emergency rule persists

Former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto says opposition supporters will march from Lahore to the capital Islamabad, unless President Pervez Musharraf quits as army chief, holds elections and restores the constitution.

Bhutto, leader of the largest opposition party said if Musharraf fails to comply by Friday the demonstration will go ahead on November the 13th. Bhutto met with other political leaders to discuss how to react to Musharraf’s suspension of the constitution.

The Pakistan People’s Party plan to hold a rally in the garrison town of Rawalpindi on Friday. However, the security forces say they will not allow the gathering to go ahead. Since General Musharraf imposed emergency rule several leading politicians have been placed under house arrest including former Pakistan test cricketer Imran Kahn. Kahn slipped his guards on Wednesday and issued a video appeal calling for “massive street protests”.

Since Musharraf imposed emergency rule on Saturday police have taken hundreds of lawyers into custody and the country’s legal system has ground to a halt. Musharraf, who took power in a 1999 coup, blames a hostile judiciary and rising militancy for his decision. Analysts believe the emergency laws will make an already volatile Pakistan much more unstable.