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Unprecedented Security in Place as Bush Begins Pakistan Summit


Pakistan's capital is virtually sealed off Saturday for President Bush's landmark visit. Mr. Bush arrived Friday night amid unprecedented security for his meeting with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, while the country braced for a wave of fresh anti-American protests.

Regional security concerns were high on the agenda as the two presidents began their one-day summit here Saturday.

But security inside Pakistan during Mr. Bush's visit was also a major concern, especially after Thursday's bombing outside the U.S. Consulate in Karachi.

Police are stationed throughout Islamabad. Helicopters patrol the skies, and commandos have staked out hilltops surrounding the city.

Hard-line Islamic groups and opposition parties are using Mr. Bush's visit to galvanize both anti-American and anti-Musharraf sentiment throughout the country.

Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed says the protests will be allowed, but only in tightly restricted locations.

"We have given them an area. If somebody wants to protest in Islamabad, there is a road where they can do this," he said.

Opposition parties have also rejected invitations to attend a state reception for the U.S. president Saturday night.

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