Red alert continues in Islamabad, Bhutto meets opposition leaders

November 14th, 2007 - 10:14 am ICT by admin  
Rangers and Police have been deployed on all routes leading towards Constitution Avenue. Government employees are being frisked thoroughly before being allowed to enter their offices in the area.

The entry of media persons was also banned on the fourth consecutive day on Wednesday.

In Karachi, paramilitary personnel were deployed outside the High Court complex.

So far, protests have been spearheaded by the legal fraternity, which has expressed outrage over the regime’s move to sack Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and other independent-minded judges. The judges are under house arrest and are not being allowed to interact with each other or the public.

Meanwhile, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has begun talks with other opposition leaders to plan how to overturn the country’s emergency rule.

Her party has so far refrained from street protests, but is planning a rally for Friday, which the mayor of Rawalpindi says will be stopped.

Bhutto arrived at her party’s secretariat in a bulletproof car amid tight security. She was greeted by dozens of enthusiastic party workers who showered rose petals on her car and shouted slogans like “Prime Minister Benazir!”.

The United States and Britain have been joined by the 27-nation European Union in urging Musharraf to release all political detainees, including members of the judiciary, relax media curbs, and seek reconciliation with political opponents.

The EU said Musharraf should stick to a pledge to step down as army chief this month and hold elections in January.

The Commonwealth is holding a special ministerial meeting in London next week to discus the state of emergency in Pakistan.

Washington has said it will review aid to Pakistan, which has reached nearly 10 billion dollars since the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Bhutto said the world must make Musharraf revoke his measures or tell him to quit.

She is expected to address a news conference later in the evening after the party meeting.

Her parliamentarians are also scheduled to stage a sit-in in front of Parliament when it gets into session in the evening. (ANI)

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