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Protests Banned, Activists Detained in Pakistan


Hundreds of activists have been detained and protests banned in two provinces in Pakistan as authorities clamp down on an opposition march from Lahore to the capital, Islamabad.

Former prime minister and opposition leader Nawaz Sharif vowed to press on despite the crackdown, rallying thousands of supporters in the northwest. Mr. Sharif has asked supporters and members of the legal community to press President Ali Asif Zardari to keep his promise to reinstate the chief justice of the Supreme Court deposed under former President Pervez Musharraf.

But officials in Punjab province, Mr. Sharif's stronghold, and Sindh province, home to the country's largest city, Karachi, responded by banning public demonstrations. Last month, a Supreme Court ruling upheld a ban preventing Mr. Sharif and his brother from seeking elected office. The move forced a growing split between Mr. Sharif and the president into the spotlight.

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