Judge urges Pakistanis to 'rise up'

More than 100 pro-democracy activists arrested as crackdown continues.

    Hundreds of lawyers have protested against Musharraf's emergency rule [AFP]
    A telecommunications official confirmed the government had shut down mobile services but said the move was temporary.
    Nadim Baba, reporting for Al Jazeera from Islamabad, said:" [Chaudhry] was making an appeal using his mobile telephone, appealing to the lawyers to carry on their campaign of street protests demanding the restoration of the constitution and the lifting of the emergency measures.
    "The remarks were being carried live on state television when suddenly the mobile phone line went dead."

    Emergency rule
    Police arrested more than 100 people on Tuesday as they demonstrated against the emergency rule declared by Pervez Musharraf, the Pakistani president.

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    Around 50 lawyers were arrested in the eastern city of Lahore as they tried to assemble on the premises of the provincial high court, a senior officer said.
    Akram Beg, a Lahore police official, said the administration had imposed a ban on gatherings of more than five people, and police had picked up those who were defying the restriction.
    About 50 others were arrested in various cities across Pakistan, including in the central city of Multan when hundreds of police blocked about 1,000 lawyers from leaving a district court complex to stage a street rally.
    Musharraf has detained hundreds of lawyers and opposition politicians since declaring the emergency on Saturday.
    Lawyers detained
    The move was seen an attempt to pre-empt the possibility of the supreme court invalidating his re-election to the presidency last month as he still retains his post as head of the army.
    Special report

    Musharraf has already replaced a number of judges from the supreme court benches.
    Four more were sworn-in on Tuesday, taking the total to nine, still far short of the total of 17.
    The arrests came a day after officials said that an election would be held in early 2008.
    George Bush, the US president, has urged Musharraf to lift the emergency the general imposed over the weekend, quit the military and hold elections.
    Emergency rule
    The imposition of emergency rule had raised considerable doubts whether parliamentary elections, expected in January, would go ahead as scheduled.
    But Shaukat Aziz, Pakistan's prime minister, said on Monday that elections would take place on schedule, though there has been no definitive word from Musharraf.
    Malik Abdul Qayyum, the attorney general, said the national and provincial assemblies would be dissolved on November 15 and an election would take place by mid-January.
    Pranab Mukherjee, India's foreign minister, said India "was watching the situation" and hoped for the restoration of democracy in Pakistan.
    He said that India, which has fought three wars with Pakistan over the disputed region of Kashmir, wanted "peace, stability, development and prosperity in Pakistan".
    The US has put future aid to Pakistan under review, having provided $10bn in the past five years, and postponed defence co-operation talks with Pakistan due this week.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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