Thousands protest against media curbs


-File photo

More than 6,000 lawyers and opposition activists protested today against tough media curbs imposed by President Pervez Musharraf amid a tense judicial crisis.
Demonstrators chanted “Go, Musharraf, go” in political hub of Lahore and other key cities, even though the government suspended the introduction of the restrictions on broadcasters a day earlier.
Lawyers burned copies of the new rules in Lahore, while political workers carried pictures of former Prime Ministers Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif as well as cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan.
Officials said around 2,000 lawyers and 3,000 other people turned out in the city. Police laid barbed wire coils across a main road to keep them away from a provincial governor’s residence.
“We express solidarity with media men and condemn the new rules,” Liaquat Baloch, a senior leader of the fundamentalist Jamaat-i-Islami party, told the rally.
In Quetta around 100 journalists wearing black armbands walked out of the provincial assembly and joined another 1,000 lawyers, labour unions and opposition members of parliament.
Another 500 media workers and opposition supporters marched in Peshawar, witnesses said.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2007