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Pakistan-Politics 3rdLd-Writethru 09-21

Associated Press

Supporters of Pakistan’s ousted former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif rally against Pakistan's military ruler, President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, in Karachi on Friday.

Army’s top ranks shaken up

President Gen. Pervez Musharraf appointed a new intelligence chief and promoted five other generals in a staff shake up Friday just days after signaling he would quit the military if elected to a new five-year term.

Outside the Supreme Court, hundreds of flag-waving supporters of Pakistan’s biggest Islamic party held an anti-Musharraf rally as judges heard petitions challenging his right to run for re-election.

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Opposition parties, who claim it would be illegal for Musharraf to run, staged smaller street protests across Pakistan and their leaders vowed to quit parliament a week before the presidential vote.

The U.S.-allied Musharraf signaled Tuesday that he would step down as army chief if re-elected — restoring civilian rule eight years after he took power. Opposition parties, however, say that it would violate the constitution for him to run for re-election.

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