New Delhi: Scores of Opposition party leaders have been arrested in Pakistan in a crackdown over the last two days.
Among the 35 detained so far, two are leaders of the Islamist MMA and Javed Hashmi of the PML-N, the faction supporting former Pakistan prime minister, Nawaz Sharif.
Many others have gone underground to avoid arrest. Qazi Hussain Ahmad of the Jamaat who filed a petition in the Supreme Court against President Musharraf holding two offices is reported to be in the North West Frontier province.
CRACK DOWN: A lot of Opposition party leaders have gone underground to avoid being arrested.
Warnings have also been issued that if members of the National Assembly go ahead with their threat to resign their seats, the tenure of the Assembly will be extended.
Meanwhile, a list of over 30 leaders of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League and ally parties has been finalised who would propose and second the name of President Pervez Musharraf in the nomination papers to be filed on September 27.
''General Musharraf wants to be re-elected by holding presidential election while keeping all his opponents in jail. This is yet another example of violation of human rights and dictatorship,'' Secretary Information PML-N Ahsan Iqbal alleged.
Iqbal said the Parliament Lodges was an important place where the parliamentarians from different areas of the country resided, while reacting to reports that police have surrounded them.
He said rounding up Members of National Assemblies and other political leaders right in front of the Parliament House was ''making a mockery of the democratic system''.
However, Deputy Information Minister Tariq Azeem said the ''preventive detentions'' were justified. ''These people were threatening to storm the Supreme Court and attack the Election Commission. No government can allow them to take the law into their hands,'' Azeem said.
''Some leaders are under preventative detention to ward off any threat to law and order to protect the sanctity of the institutions,'' he said.
(With inputs from agencies)PAGE_BREAK