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International | Government & Elections | Police State and Prisons

Bhutto placed under 'house arrest'
by Al Jazeera (reposted)
Friday Nov 9th, 2007 8:01 AM
Thursday, November 8, 2007 : Police out in strength in Rawalpindi in bid to foil protest against emergency rule.
Sherry Rehman, a Bhutto party spokeswoman, said although the former prime minister was not officially under house arrest, police were blocking all movement in and out. "It's virtual house arrest," she said.

Tariq Aziz, the information minister, however, said the former prime minister has not been formally placed under house arrest. But "we will not allow any leader to carry out any rally. The law is equal for everybody and anyone violating it will be dealt with accordingly", he said.

A senior official said police had cordoned off Bhutto's only for her protection.

Special report

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But other officials said she would be stopped if she tried to attend the rally, due to begin in Rawalpindi near Islamabad at 1pm (0800 GMT).

"She's free to go anywhere but if she tries to go to the rally she'll be stopped," said a government official who declined to be identified.

A senior police official said an order placing Bhutto under house arrest had been prepared.

Crackdown

The move against the leader of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) came amid a broader crackdown on her supporters.

The Pakistani government has deployed 6,000 police officers in Rawalpindi to prevent the planned rally against the state of emergency imposed by General Pervez Musharraf, the president, last week. Police have completely sealed off the venue for the protest in the garrison city near capital Islamabad on Friday.

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§Lawyers - Pakistan’s Unlikely Democratic Martyrs
by NAM (reposted) Friday Nov 9th, 2007 7:50 AM
Originally From New America Media

Friday, November 9, 2007 : Pakistan’s lawyers have emerged as the voices of conscience in their country, much like the monks in Burma. That comes as a surprise to NAM writer Mark Schurmann who, like many Americans, is more used to lawyers being regarded as ‘blood-suckers’ and the butt of nasty jokes.

SAN FRANCISO - The Pakistani lawyers who continue to shake their fists at the declaration of martial law and the suspension of Pakistan’s constitution by General Pervez Musharraf are a far cry from how we view lawyers here in America—men and women in ill-fitting suits with bad hairstyles and a God complex.

Just last week, I sat in a courtroom in San Francisco and watched lawyers discuss their weekend plans--wine and cheese in Napa, quick getaways to Cancun, dinner at a posh restaurant in the city--as exhausted-looking defendants in county-issued clothes, my friend among them, sat awaiting their fates.

No wonder popular culture teems with lawyer jokes.

What’s the difference between a dead dog on the road and a dead lawyer on the road? There are skid marks in front of the dog.

And there are thousands more such jokes on the Internet.

The image of ‘blood-sucker’ stands in stunning contrast to the Pakistani lawyers dressed in suits and confronting riot police on the streets of Lahore and Islamabad. It isn’t the dust one usually associates with the dry barren plains of Pakistan they’re marching through, but tear gas.

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§Musharraf Announces Elections for February
by NPR (reposted) Friday Nov 9th, 2007 8:04 AM
Friday, November 9, 2007 : Pakistan's President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, under intense domestic and international pressure, has announced a mid-February date for parliamentary elections. He also pledged to remove his uniform once the reconstituted Supreme Court rules that his re-election last month is legitimate.

Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto is calling on Musharraf to step down as Army chief within a week.

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§U.S. Urges Musharraf to End Bhutto's House Arrest
by NPR (reposted) Friday Nov 9th, 2007 8:05 AM
Friday, November 9, 2007 : The United States called on Pakistan's government Friday to end the house arrest of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto after her residence in the capital was cordoned off by police ahead of a major rally planned by her supporters. National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe, who was accompanying President Bush at his Crawford, Texas, ranch said the U.S.

remains "concerned about the continued state of emergency and curtailment of basic freedoms." He said Bhutto and other political opponents should be released and "permitted freedom of movement."

"We urge Pakistani authorities to quickly return to constitutional order and democratic norms," he said.

A spokesman for Pakistan President Gen. Pervez Musharraf promised the opposition leader would be free by Saturday.

Police Bar Bhutto from Attending Rally

After a brief scuffle with Bhutto's supporters, police strung lengths of razor wire around her Islamabad home and prevented her leaving in a car to attend the rally in neighboring Rawalpindi to protest Musharraf's imposition of emergency rule.

Dozens of police, some in riot gear, were deployed at Bhutto's residence along with steel and concrete barriers. Other security personnel patrolled on motorcycles, horseback and in armored vehicles. At least 12 Bhutto supporters were arrested, including a woman who showed up with flowers.

Listen Online
§Bhutto blocked from Pakistan rally
by Al Jazeera (reposted) Friday Nov 9th, 2007 8:06 AM
Friday, November 9, 2007 : Police prevent former prime minister from leaving her Islamabad home.

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Police rounded up Bhutto supporters outside her Islamabad villa [AFP]

Pakistani police have blocked Benazir Bhutto from attending a rally against emergency rule. Police had earlier surrounded the Islamabad home of Bhutto, a former prime minister and the leader of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP), placing her under "virtual house arrest" on Friday.

Al Jazeera's James Bays in Islamabad said Bhutto attempted to break through the police barricades in a white vehicle but made no headway. The former prime minister had planned to defy a ban on public gatherings and address a rally in nearby Rawalpindi.

"Do not raise hands on women. You are Muslims. This is un-Islamic," she shouted at police who blocked her.

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by THE SON OF THE DEVIL
Friday Nov 9th, 2007 4:08 PM
HIS UNHOLINESS (GEORGE WARMONGER BUSH) : "Sorry to Oil the Bush Oil Power Play in Pakistan, the Caspian Sea Pipelines in Pakistan, the Bush Oil Lap Dog Busharaf in Pakistan, and the Bush Satanic Intifada in Pakistan but Oil comes First. READY TO MAKE A DEAL WITH THE DEVIL ???????????"