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Musharraf Warns Islamist Legislation Would Curb Freedoms

Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf warns that a proposed law in North West Frontier Province to enforce strict adherence to Islam will take away people's freedoms.

Speaking at a rally Saturday, General Musharraf urged people to reject extremists, saying they want to push Pakistan backward.

Supporters of the bill say it will help improve society.

At the president's request, the Supreme Court Monday will begin hearings on whether the proposed enforcement law, known as "Hisba," is constitutional.

Meanwhile, hard-line Islamist groups are condemning General Musharraf's decision to expel all 1,400 foreign students from the nation's madrassas, calling the move "inhuman."

The president announced Friday no new visas will be issued to non-Pakistanis to study in these seminaries, saying he wants to stop the madrassas being used to spread extremism.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.