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Pakistani Opposition Gears Up to Observe 'Black Day' on New Year's


Pakistan's opposition is gearing up for a "black day" of protests on New Year's Day after President Pervez Musharraf broke his promise to quit as army chief.

Members of an Islamic alliance and other parties plan to take to the streets Saturday in response to the general's announcement that he will continue to hold both the presidency and the army chief's portfolio.

General Musharraf, who seized power in a bloodless coup in 1999, has angered the religious right by going back on a pledge he made to win its support for constitutional amendments that gave him sweeping powers.

The Islamic opposition has already held four anti-Musharraf rallies over the past month. Turnouts have been modest, but opposition leaders hope the general's formal announcement will galvanize support.

Some information for this report provided by AFP.

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