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Olympic Torch Arrives in Pakistan


The Olympic torch, symbol of the 2008 Beijing Games, touched down in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, early Wednesday amid tight security.

The flame arrived from Oman at the military airport outside Islamabad shortly after midnight and was welcomed by several dignitaries.

Pakistan's pro-China government promised a trouble-free leg for the flame. Authorities have canceled a street relay citing security concerns, and instead plan to run the torch around the grounds of the Jinnah Stadium.

President Pervez Musharraf is due to attend the ceremony following his visit to China. Pakistan and China are close political, military and commercial allies.

The flame, which began its worldwide six-continent trek from ancient Olympia in Greece on March 24, is due in India on Thursday.

The early stages in Paris, London and San Francisco were overshadowed by demonstrations against Beijing's crackdown on protests in Tibet, but the torch's stops in Argentina, Tanzania and Oman proceeded without incident.

The relay is scheduled to include Mount Everest, which lies on the border of Tibet and Nepal.

Pro-Tibet activists have called on the International Olympic Committee to cancel the Tibet leg of the Beijing Olympics' torch relay.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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