RealNews

Musharraf strives to avoid clash with Islamic groups

Pakistan president General Pervez Musharraf and the country’s main Islamic political groups are making a last-ditch effort to avoid a clash next week over the constitutional legitimacy of his military rule. The coalition of Islamic groups, known as the MMA (Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal), has set a December 18 deadline to launch an anti-government movement unless Gen Musharraf steps down as chief of the military staff and becomes a purely civilian president. Their initiative is a reaction to Gen Musharraf’s firm rejection of all types of militancy, including the jihad, or holy war, supported by many Muslims. “All of us have to make efforts to reject, condemn and stop religious and sectarian extremism as the menace can adversely affect the country’s economic progress,” he warned last month, shortly after the government banned six Islamic groups which it accused of being involved in militant activities. Full Story

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