Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Musharraf under pressure over polls

Pakistan's military ruler Pervez Musharraf promised to force ahead with elections
amid international indignation on Tuesday over his exigency rule, with the United
States demanding a tax return to democracy. With mental images of police force firing
tear gas and whipping dissenters going around the human race and warnings of a break
in foreign aid, the president said January's planned polls would be held "as
close as possible to the schedule." United States President Saint George Tungsten Bush
called on Musharraf, a cardinal ally in the conflict against Al-Qaeda and the Taliban,
to stop the state of emergency, discontinue as regular army head and reconstruct democratic rule. "We anticipate there to be
elections as soon as possible and that the president should take his military
uniform," Shrub said. "Our hope
is that he will reconstruct democracy as quickly as possible." On Monday, tons of
lawyers were wounded and 100s in the first major show of public dissent
since Musharraf imposed a state of exigency Saturday, citing a crisis caused by
Islamic extremist force and hostile judges. Officials said 1,500 people
had been arrested since then. "Police have got detained possible troublemakers,
law-breakers and those who defied a prohibition on rallies," inside ministry spokesman
Javed Cheema said. The biggest
protest was in Lahore, where lawyers with hemorrhage caput lesions were bundled into
vans after police force fired rupture gas at around 1,000 dissenters outside the high
court. In Karachi, police force and
paramilitary soldiers charged at lawyers, detaining another 100. Clashes were
also reported in Rawalpindi, Multan and Peshawar. In a mark of the raging
uncertainty absorbing the nuclear-armed nation, the authorities was obliged to
deny rumors Musharraf had been placed under house apprehension by his ain armed
forces. United Nations head Prohibition Ki-moon
was "greatly concerned" at the state of affairs and have urged Musharraf to free
detainees immediately and reconstruct democracy, his spokeswoman said. As well as declaring emergency
rule, Musharraf suspended the constitution, sacked the nation's head justice
and brought in mass media controls -- measurements he said were needed to halt Pakistan
committing "suicide." The
Supreme Court had been about to govern on the legality of his October 6
presidential election win, and authorities nervousness over the finding of fact are widely
thought to have got precipitated the move. The focusing now is on January's
parliamentary vote. "Efforts are to remain as stopping point as possible to the agenda of
elections," presidential spokesman Rashid Qureshi quoted Musharraf as telling
ambassadors in a briefing. Prime Curate Shaukat Aziz
was more than categorical, telling state mass media the elections would be on schedule. Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto
-- who had been in negotiation on a power-sharing deal with Musharraf -- called on him
to let go of the detained and lodge to his election plan. "I desire elections to be held
on time," Bhutto added. "Elections should be completed by 16 January." Lawyer General Malik
Mohammad Qayyum said that the national and provincial assemblies would be
dissolved on November 15 for polls by mid-January.

No comments: