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Pakistan's Bhutto attempts to defy house arrest

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Pakistan's Bhutto attempts to defy house arrest


Under house arrest but fighting the order, Benazir Bhutto has spoken out against her detention. The Pakistani opposition leader was stopped from leaving her home by police in armoured vehicles hours before she was due to lead a huge rally against emergency rule, imposed by the president on Saturday.

Bhutto then addressed the crowds outside her house by loudspeaker, saying the demonstration was planned as a peaceful protest. She has demanded Pervez Musharraf sets a date for a general election, steps down as army chief, restores the constitution and releases those arrested since the weekend.

In Rawalpindi, the rally went ahead despite Bhutto’s detention. Riot police clashed with protesters, using tear gas and baton charges to break up groups of demonstrators.

Musharraf said yesterday elections will be held before mid February – a month later than planned. He has also said he will stand down as army chief once the question of whether he eligible to stand for re-election last month has been answered by the Supreme Court.

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