White House Wants Pakistan Elections President George Bush wants Pakistan's president, Pervez Musharraf, to hold early elections and step down as head of the army. The United States is also urging Musharraf to release hundreds of people who have been arrested in a crackdown on dissent.
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White House Wants Pakistan Elections

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White House Wants Pakistan Elections

White House Wants Pakistan Elections

White House Wants Pakistan Elections

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President George Bush wants Pakistan's president, Pervez Musharraf, to hold early elections and step down as head of the army. The United States is also urging Musharraf to release hundreds of people who have been arrested in a crackdown on dissent.

ALISON STEWART, host:

Clashes continue in Pakistan as lawyers take to the streets for a second straight day of protesting the suspension of the country's constitution. And this was the scene today in the city of Lahore.

(Soundbite of crowd chanting)

LUKE BURBANK, host:

Speaking from Islamabad yesterday, President General Pervez Musharraf insisted that things would soon return to normal.

President PERVEZ MUSHARRAF (Pakistan): There'll be harmony. Confidence will come back into government, into law enforcement agencies, and Pakistan will start moving again on the same track as we were moving.

STEWART: Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto is flying to the Pakistani capital today, but she says she will not meet or negotiate with Musharraf.

BURBANK: The country's suspended chief justice spoke by phone while under house arrest today. He urged lawyers to continue their protests in spite of arrests and police beatings. He said, quote, "Go to every corner of Pakistan and give the message that this is the time to sacrifice." He vowed that Pakistan constitution would be restored saying, quote, "There would be no dictatorship."

STEWART: So that's the BPP Big Story. We'll have more in just a minute when we go live to Pakistan for an update from journalist Kamal Siddiqi from the News International yesterday. When we talked to him, he was being threatened with the shutdown of his printing press. We'll find out how he is doing today.

BURBANK: That in a moment. First, though, we'll get the rest of the news from Rachel Martin.

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