By Kamran Haider and Augustine Anthony
(This article appeared on page 1 of The Washington Times on November 6, 2007, under the optimistic headline “Pakistan Elections Restored.” On page 1 of The Washington Post, a picture taken just seconds apart from the photo here appeared with a much more circumspect report.)
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan said it would hold a national election by mid-January and President Pervez Musharraf pledged to quit the military after criticism from the United States for imposing emergency rule.
Musharraf has detained hundreds of lawyers and opposition politicians since taking emergency powers on Saturday, a move seen as designed to pre-empt a Supreme Court ruling on his re-election as president last month.
U.S. President George W. Bush, who values Musharraf as an ally in his battle against al Qaeda and the Taliban, urged Pakistan’s president to lift the state of emergency, hold elections and quit his military post.
Police used teargas against stone-throwing lawyers in the eastern city of Lahore, and wielded batons to break up another protest by dozens outside the High Court in Karachi.
It had been unclear whether parliamentary elections would go ahead in January as scheduled.
But Attorney General Malik Abdul Qayyum told Reuters there would be no delay and national and provincial assemblies would be dissolved by November 15 ahead of the vote that is supposed to transform Pakistan into a civilian-led democracy.
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