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Pakistani leader orders referendum on Islamization

Pakistan's military ruler, Muhammad Zia ul-Haq, has ordered a referendum on Dec. 19 on his Islamization policies, saying approval means he would remain president for another five years. The referendum will pose only one question: whether voters approve of General Zia's program to enforce an Islamic order in Pakistan and transfer power to elected representatives after elections to be held by next March.

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The main opposition alliance - the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy, which comprises 11 banned political parties - denounced the surprise move as a fraud.