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Musharraf to lift emergency on Dec 16

Musharraf to lift emergency on Dec 16
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Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf has announced that the state of emergency will be lifted on December 16.

A day after standing down as head of the army, Musharraf began his second term as president.

Opposition figure and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif said he had decided “in principle” to boycott the poll but would consult another former leader, Benazir Bhutto, before taking a final decision.

Musharraf said: “Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif are back. I personally feel this is good for the political reconcilliation I have spoken of.”

Musharraf deposed Sharif in a coup in 1999 and forced him abroad a year later.

As he was being sworn in, at least 200 lawyers angry at his inauguration, clashed with police in Lahore.

About a dozen demonstrators were injured. The president of the Lahore bar association said their aim was to block military intervention forever.

Musharraf sacked several Supreme Court judges when he declared the state of emergency.

He said they were hampering his attempts to fight Islamic militancy but many observers thought it more likely they were about to uphold challenges to his re-election.