Musharraf's nomination accepted by EC

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Islamabad, Sep 29:  Violence erupted outside the heavily guarded Election Commission which today commenced scrutiny of nominations for the October 6 presidential election here, finding the papers of Gen Pervez Musharraf in order.

Clashes between police and activists started outside the Election Commission after Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz arrived to defend Gen Musharraf's nomination during scrutiny.

Besides Gen Musharraf, the nomination papers of Pakistan's legal fraternity's candidate Justice (retd) Wajihuddin and Pakistan Peoples Party's candidate Makhdoom Amin Fahim were found valid by the commission.

As many as 43 candidates had filed nominations for the October 6 presidential election.

The Constitution Avenue, which houses important government offices such as Election Commision, Supreme Court, Parliament House, Prime Minister's house, Presidency and Diplomatic Enclave, was sealed in view of the lawyers' threat to lay seige in protest against Gen Musharraf's nomination papers being accepted for elections.

Police baton-charged a group of about 200 lawyers and activists who tried to march from the Supreme Court, across the avenue, to the Election Commission.

Lawyers threw stones at police and chanted ''go Musharraf, go!'', Atleast 12 police personnel were hurt.

One leading opposition lawyer, Ali Ahmed Kurd was taken into custody.

Police beat another leader Aitzaz Ahsan. Tear gas was fired to keep the protesters bottled up in the Supreme Court compound.

Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority had instructed cable TV channels like Geo TV and Aaj to refrain from telecasting today developments.

Reporters said police also beat them and decided to stay away from the Iftar party to be organised by Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz today evening.

Police and protesters also clashed in Karachi and Lahore.

The nine-member constitutional bench of Supreme Court had permitted Gen Musharraf to contest the coming presidential polls while being the Army Chief, dismissing all petitions challenging his holding dual posts.

The Pakistan President, however, has been facing stiff internal opposition since he tried to fire the chief justice in March.


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