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Pakistani Islamists Protest Musharraf Plan to Remain Army Chief

Pakistan's opposition Islamic alliance has vowed to observe New Year's Day as a "black day" across the country if President does not quit as army chief.

The leader of the six-party alliance known as the MMA (Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal) told about 4,000 supporters in Rawalpindi he may also call for a sit-in protest in neighboring Islamabad, the capital.

Qazi Hussain Ahmed led the rally amid a downpour after General Musharraf categorically declared he would remain the army chief despite his pledge to abdicate the post by December 31. The opposition leader said if the general does not fulfill his promise, January 1 will be observed as a day of protest.

It was the fourth such rally in major Pakistani cities over the past month.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.