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Pakistan's Musharraf refuses to quit, as opponents eye impeachment

Political activists and lawyers launched a cross-country march Monday to press for the reinstatement of independent judges fired by Musharraf.

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Pressure is growing on Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf to resign as his opponents in parliament sharpen their attack. The ongoing political tussle seems likely to distract from counterterrorism operations, backed by the Bush administration, at a time of simmering tensions.

Last week, in an attack claimed by Al Qaeda, a car bomb detonated outside the Danish Embassy in Islamabad, killing several people. Authorities said they later thwarted a separate terrorist attack when they seized three cars in nearby Rawalpindi loaded with explosives. Militants are suspected in a Monday attack that killed four policemen in Peshawar, capital of the volatile North West Frontier Province.

Thousands of lawyers and others opposed to Mr. Musharraf, who sought to remove the country's chief justice last year, rallied Monday in Karachi to begin a staggered protest march that is due to end Thursday in Islamabad. Agence France-Presse reports that civil rights activists joined supporters of secular and religious parties in the march led by black-suited lawyers who chanted "Go Musharraf, Go!"


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