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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Revolts In Pakistan On The Making?

As lawyers and opposition parties are preparing to accord warm welcome to Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry here in the city, police has picked up over 6000 political activists from different parts of the metropolis by launching a crackdown against them, in a bid to thwart the opposition rally The police have launched crackdown against the activists and leaders of the parties of ARD, MMA and ANP, PTI and others and have arrested over 600 activists from different areas of the provincial capital.

Tension has gripped the city, as people feared of a possible clash between MQM and opposition parties activists, as the later has also announced to take out a rally on the same day at the same itinerary to denounce, what it said, religious and political parties for their bid to destabilize the government in the name of protecting judiciary’s independence.

Police on late Thursday night and Friday morning raided the houses of opposition parties’ leaders and activists including MMA, ARD, ANP, MQM-Haqiqi, Tehrik Insaf and arrested over 600 political activists. Police raided the houses of PML-N leader Saleem Zia, Sardar Abdul Rahim, PPP leader Shehla Raza, PDP leader Basharat Mirza and many local leaders of MMA.

MMA sources told Online that the houses of its leaders and activists were being raided from late Thursday night and police had so far arrested 200 of its activists. MMA leaders said that police had also uprooted its camps from different areas. MMA leader was picked by some plainclothes policemen from his residence. PPP Leader Waqa Mehid said that police had arrested hundreds of PPP workers on Thursday night and removed its camps from different areas of the city.
He said that the banners carrying welcome slogans for chief justice that were installed in different parts of the city were also removed by police. Muhajir Qaumi Movement, students, social and workers’ organisations have also announced to accord worm welcome to chief justice and have installed banners inscribed with welcome slogans in different areas of the city. The students of Karachi University has arranged 40 mound of rose petals and flowers to be showered on chief justice craven on his arrival in the city.

Meanwhile, a security guard was killed on Friday in Karachi as tension gripped the city one day ahead of the visit of Chief Justice of Supreme Court. The opposition parties said that more than 500 of their activists have been detained to foil their plan to accord warm welcome to the Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.

A police officer Azhar Farooqi confirmed the detention of around 100 activists to maintain peace and order in the city. The government coalition partner Mutahida Qaumi Movement has also announced a counter rally, which has increased fear of violence in the port city.

The provincial Sindh and federal government had requested the Chief Justice to postpone his visit on May 12 but his defence lawyers have refused.

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