Olympic torch arrives in Islamabad

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Islamabad, Apr 16: The Olympic torch has arrived in Islamabad by plane. The Pakistan Government has tightened its security by deploying thousands of Pakistani troops. China's Ambassador to Pakistan Luo Zhaohui was among the dignitaries waiting at a military section of Islamabad airport, where the flame arrived today.

Due to protests against China's policies on Tibet, the Government has shortened the torch relay route. Around 60 Pakistani athletes are expected to carry the flame around the grounds of Jinnah stadium, before the event ends with a musical ceremony to be attended by President Pervez Musharraf and new Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. Other cities preparing to receive the torch are also making preparations. In the Australian capital Canberra, police have been given extra powers to search those watching the relay for items such as guns and knives.

Human Rights protests caused chaos during the torch's passage through London, Paris and San Francisco last week. Subsequent stop-overs in Argentina, Tanzania and Oman have largely been trouble-free. Following the Islamabad stop, the torch relay will proceed to New Delhi on April 17.


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