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Over 230 Pak Opposition lawmakers resign

Islamabad, September 30
Upping the ante, over 230 opposition lawmakers have resigned from Pakistan’s national and provincial assemblies to resist President Pervez Musharraf’s re-election bid, as journalists observed a “black day” today, condemning the police action during protests against the General.

Eightyfour members of the National Assembly and 152 of four provincial assemblies from opposition alliance All-Parties Democratic Movement (APDM) submitted their resignations to their respective party leaders, senior leader of Pakistan Muslim League-N Raja Zafarul Haq told reporters here.

The APDM is headed by exiled former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s PML (N).

Haq said the resignations would be submitted to the speaker of the national assembly and respective speakers of provincial assemblies on October 2, the day after Election Commission displayed the final list of candidates for the October 6 Presidential poll.

Meanwhile, journalists all over the country marched carrying black flags in protest against the use of tear gas and baton charge on mediapersons covering the protests before the Election Commission here yesterday during the scrutiny of nominations for presidential poll.

Sixtyfour persons were injured, including 13 police officials, 31 journalists, two opposition lawmakers and several passers-by in the clashes, the state-run Associated Press of Pakistan news agency reported today.

Even after losing their battle in the Supreme Court, Pakistani lawyers, in the forefront of the anti-Musharraf campaign, say they won’t give up the struggle to stop the military ruler from becoming president for a second five-year term.

General Musharraf, who has pledged to remove the uniform after being elected as president for the second term, got the nod from country’s top court to run for the October 6 ballot even while being the army chief.

The Election Commission yesterday accepted General Musharraf’s re-election nomination along with papers of five other candidates, including Makhdoom Amin Fahim of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and a retired judge, Wajihuddin Ahmed.

However, the opposition and lawyers campaigning against military rule have vowed to approach the Supreme Court tomorrow to have General Musharraf’s nomination spiked. They have also announced protests throughout the country for tomorrow.

“Our fight is against the black laws and the dictatorship... and we’ll take it to logical end,” said Ali Ahmed Kurd, a firebrand lawyer from Balochistan who was injured and arrested following the yesterday’s violence.

“The real fight has (just) begun,” warned Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan, another leading lawyer who, too, was hit by the police with canes. — PTI, IANS

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‘Nothing against Ram’

Thanjavur, September 30
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi has toned down his critical remarks against Lord Ram.

These had created a national furore even leading to a ‘fatwa’ being issued against him, by stating that he was not against the Hindu God.

“What enmity do I have with Lord Ram? His enemy has to be Ravana and not me,” he said at Vallam, near here, yesterday.

He said he was only against those who were trying to put spokes in the project in his name. — UNI

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