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PPP's public meeting banned

world Updated: Nov 07, 2007 15:58 IST
PTI
Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto

A public meeting organised by former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in the nearby garrison city of Rawalpindi on Friday as a "show of strength" to press the government to end emergency has been banned.

In a late night order, the government of Punjab province banned the holding of a public meeting by the Pakistan Peoples Party.

Bhutto, who flew into the capital from the southern city of Karachi on Tuesday to consult other opposition leaders on steps to oppose the emergency, said the public meeting for the election campaign would be "a show of strength".

"I appeal to the nation to join the protest and show their power. When people will come out, pressure will mount. The people will have to fight for the restoration of the constitution and democracy and to save the country," she told reporters at her home in Islamabad on Tuesday night.

However, an official spokesman said the holding of large public meetings was generally inadvisable due to the possibility of bomb attacks.

Political parties should refrain from holding public meetings and rallies and any violation of the ban would be dealt "with the full force of law", he said.

Bhutto also said that her party would not attend a session of the National Assembly convened at 5 pm on Wednesday by President Pervez Musharraf and would instead stage a protest outside Parliament along with other opposition parliamentarians.

She will also chair a meeting of the Alliance for the Restoration of Democracy on Wednesday to discuss ways to oppose the emergency and to press the government to hold the general election as scheduled by mid-January.