Set specific date for Pakistan polls, says Britain

Karachi, Nov.7 (ANI):  British Foreign Secretary David Miliband on Wednesday urged President Pervez Musharraf to set a specific date for January elections in Pakistan.

"We call on the government of Pakistan to first declare now a specific date for January elections," he said in a statement to the House of Commons on the crisis in Pakistan.

Miliband's statement came even as the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) said that if the curbs imposed on media are not lifted until November 8, a Black Day would be observed across Pakistan on November 9.

The PFUJ also informed that a country-wide hunger strike would be undertaken on November 14, and demonstrations would follow a day later.

In Karachi, lawyers of the Sindh High Court (SHC) continued their protest for a fourth day, refusing to appear before PCO oath judges and vowing to continue their struggle.

Heavy contingents of police and rangers were posted within and outside the court compound, and lawyers were allowed to enter on identification. Private media and common people were not allowed to enter.

A general body meeting attended by a large number of lawyers was held in the SHC Bar Room, which was addressed by the lawyers’ leaders Hafeez Lakho, Akhtar Hussain and Ilyas Khan and a resolution passed on this occasion said that the lawyers do not accept the emergency and PCO oath judges.

The meeting said that the Chief of Army Staff had no authority to declare an emergency. The meeting also announced the constitution of a managing committee comprising of former presidents Hafeez Lakho, Akhtar Hussain, Ilyas Khan and members of PBC and SBC for the running of the day-to-day affairs of the Sindh High Court Bar.

In lahore, police confirmed the arrest of 1734 lawyers and political activists across Punjab.

Punjab Interior Secretary, Khusro Pervaiz, said all were arrested for participating in protests against the Musharraf regime and for violating Section 144 of the Pakistan Penal Code.

Replying to a question, Pervaiz said that there was no ban on meeting these persons in any jail and asserted that the SCB former president, Hamid Khan had not been arrested.(ANI)