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Pakistan police release ex-PM Bhutto from house arrest

[JURIST] The house arrest order against former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto [personal website] has been lifted, Pakistani police said Thursday. Bhutto was placed under house arrest [JURIST report] for seven days early Tuesday in an effort to block her from leading a planned 160-mile march [JURIST report] from Lahore to Islamabad protesting President Pervez Musharraf's imposition of emergency rule [PDF text; JURIST news archive]. Police also arrested members of Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party [party website] who tried to cross a police barricade to reach Bhutto, as well as hundreds of party members throughout Lahore. While under house arrest, Bhutto confirmed with reporters that she is no longer speaking with Musharraf, either directly or indirectly, and that her party may boycott the January parliamentary elections [CBC report] if Pakistan is still under the emergency decree. Reuters has more.

The government of Pakistan said Monday that the planned march violated the proclamation of emergency rule [JURIST report]. Musharraf said Sunday that parliamentary elections will take place in January, but set no time limit to the emergency [JURIST report].

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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