5,000 supporters of Benazir arrested

November 14th, 2007 - 10:19 am ICT by admin  

“It is a massive crackdown on our party,” Raja Javed Ashraf, a PPP lawmaker, said.

Officials, however, offered no immediate public comment. But a security official, speaking on the condition of anonymity said that only 1,000 Bhutto supporters had been detained.

Meanwhile, Bhutto has been placed under house arrest hours before she was due to lead and address a rally in protest against the declaration of emergency in Pakistan.

“She is being placed under house arrest,” a senior government official said on condition of anonymity.

Nearly 200 policemen sealed off Bhutto’s house in Islamabad with barbed wire and a magistrate went inside, apparently with an arrest order, hours before she was due to lead the demonstration in neighbouring Rawalpindi.

A senior PPP leader, Senator Anwar Baig, said: “This is illegal confinement. This is illegal detention of a democratic leader.”

“We tried to convince Bhutto to cancel the rally but she did not agree, and we had no choice but to implement these restrictions,” The News quoted a senior police official, as saying.

The government also deployed 6,000 police officers to stop the protest in Rawalpindi, completely cordoning off the planned venue in the Garrison City with barbed wire and concrete blocks.

“Under no circumstances will the rally be allowed. The law will take its course against anyone who defies it,” Rawalpindi Police Chief, Saud Aziz, said. (ANI)

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