Pakistani Extremist Forces Plan Mass Actions In Support Of Taliban

Fundamentalists' intention to rally against the US military campaign in Afghanistan and the fact that it is supported by President Pervez Musharraf has prompted Pakistani authorities to place the country's security services on an enhanced alert status. The rally, which is due in the afternoon after Friday prayers, is being organised by the so-called Council of Protection of Afghanistan, a body made up of religious parties and groups. Fundamentalists also call on the population to go out on a nationwide strike. Mass rallies are also expected in Karachi, Quetta, Peshawar, Rawalpindi, Lahore and other cities of Pakistan. The government has declared its firm decision to prevent public disorder and damages to state and private property. According to the country's law enforcers, they are in full control of the situation. The effort to prevent the rallies has included arrests of several of the country's extremist party leaders. Maulana Fazl-ul-Rahman, the leader of the faction of Pakistan's Jamiat ulema-e-islam party and the ringleader of mass rallies, was placed under house arrest. In the meantime, Islamists announced their intention to organise, within the next few days, a march to the country's capital Islamabad, rallies by the US embassy and consulate, and "seizure" of the military bases that the government handed over to the USA.

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