Pakistan protests: Pitch rises
Opposition leader Nawaz Sharif defied house arrest to rally protesters in Lahore Sunday.
Islamabad and Lahore, Pakistan
Lawyers, activists, and opposition members overran barricades Sunday to reach Lahore's high court. Police there appeared split: Some charged with batons; others handed out water. Both tear gas and celebratory kites filled the air.
Recent efforts to suppress a cross-country protest march – including roundups of activists, tampering with cable news signals, and the alleged house arrest of opposition leader Nawaz Sharif – have many Pakistanis sensing déjà vu of past military regimes. Yet this government was democratically elected with a mandate to undo the dictatorial practices under Gen. Pervez Musharraf.
Abida Hussain, a member of the executive committee of Mr. Zardari's ruling Pakistan People's Party, defended the government's actions so far. "The government has to protect lives and properties of its constituents," she says.
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