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Police cordon sparks Bhutto arrest fears

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Police cordon sparks Bhutto arrest fears


Pakistani police have cordoned off the home of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto amid reports she has been placed under house arrest. The former prime minister was to due lead a demonstration in Rawalpindi against President Pervez Musharraf’s imposition of emergency rule. A senior official in Islamabad said police had cordoned off Bhutto’s home in the city but only for her protection.

However, another government spokesman was quoted as saying Bhutto was being placed under house arrest for organising an illegal rally. Under pressure from the US Musharraf had said parliamentary elections would take place before February 15.

But that did little to appease Bhutto and her supporters. Pakistan had been scheduled to hold elections by mid-January until Musharraf imposed emergency rule and suspended the constitution on Saturday. An already tense country erupted into a wave of protests led by the opposition. It was feared there would be more disturbances at today’s rally. .

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