Former Pakistani Prime Minister and opposition leader Nawaz Sharif on Monday accused President Pervez Musharraf of ordering anti-terror operations that have left the country "drowned in blood."
At the first major campaign rally since the assassination of another opposition leader Benazir Bhutto late last month, Sharif accused President Musharraf of destroying Pakistan and blindly following Washington's orders.
His criticism came as a bomb blast in Karachi killed at least 10 people and fighting in a remote tribal area claimed the lives of 23 Islamic militants and seven Pakistani troops.
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf was in Karachi at the time of the blast and police say they do not know who was behind it.
Military officials say the fighting in the tribal area bordering Afghanistan erupted when militants attacked a paramilitary convoy in the Mohmand district.
The attack came just days after troops killed a number of militants in nearby South Waziristan as part of an effort to target Taliban and al-Qaida safe havens in the region.
Also in recent days, officials and residents say tribesmen killed at least two Uzbek militants during clashes in South Waziristan.
Last Friday, U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen expressed concern about the presence of al-Qaida safe havens in Pakistan.
Admiral Mullen said militants are not only launching attacks in neighboring Afghanistan but inside Pakistan as well. He called on Pakistani President Musharraf and his military advisors to confront the problem directly.
Some information for this report was provided by AP.