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Pakistan's Opposition Stages Strike, But Participation Reportedly Low

A nationwide strike called by an opposition coalition in Pakistan has taken place as planned Saturday, but the action appears not to have been as successful as adversaries of President Pervez Musharraf had hoped.

The six-party United Action Forum called the strike to protest the policies of General Musharraf, whom the alliance accuses of putting the interests of the United States ahead of the Pakistani people.

The opposition coalition described Saturday's strike as successful. Media reports say some shops were closed in several cities, but most businesses operated as normal. Pakistani authorities say the walkout was a failure because it was not as massive as the alliance had expected.

Meanwhile, police in the city of Lahore used tear gas to disperse strike supporters. In Karachi, about 250 opposition members were arrested.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.