Freed opposition leader vows fight

Published August 5, 2007


One of Pakistan's most outspoken opposition leaders emerged from prison to a cheering crowd Saturday and vowed to press his campaign against President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, who is struggling with rising dissent and militant violence.

The Supreme Court granted bail to Javed Hashmi, the acting president of the exiled former prime minister's party, on Friday after he served four years on charges of treason and inciting an army mutiny against Musharraf.

"My fight was for the restoration of democracy, and the true freedom for me will come the day when we will get rid of those generals who toppled the elected government," Hashmi said.

"There will be no compromise with the dictators," he said. "I will only consider myself a free man when the entire nation will get freedom from these generals."

Attacks and clashes killed 23 people in the northern tribal regions, where pro-Taliban militants have been waging a campaign against Musharraf's administration, a key U.S. ally.


TURKEY: A freshly elected Parliament, still dominated by the Islamic-leaning ruling party, was sworn in Saturday and expected to quickly take up the highly contentious issue of picking a new president. The opposition warned that the new government should preserve Turkey's long-held secular principles. The new Parliament also includes a group of Kurdish lawmakers accused of links to separatist rebels.

WEST BANK: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert are to meet Monday in the West Bank to try narrowing their differences ahead of a planned peace conference in the United States, a Palestinian official said Saturday. Both sides have suggested they are ready to try to sketch at least a partial outline for a peace deal.

NICARAGUA: President Daniel Ortega signed a series of accords with Iran on Saturday. Iran will fund a farm equipment assembly plant, 4,000 tractors, four hydroelectric plants, five milk-processing plants, a health clinic, 10,000 houses, and two piers in the western port of Corinto, the government said. Nicaragua will export coffee, meat and bananas to Iran.

ECUADOR: President Rafael Correa said Saturday he ordered U.S. environmental activist Sean O'Hearn deported for taking part in a police seizure of 2 tons of shark fins that were apparently illegally fished. O'Hearn said was indignant, saying he was married to an Ecuadorean woman and that they had a daughter.

PORTUGAL: Portuguese police and British detectives have returned to search the home of the only suspect in the disappearance of a 4-year-old British girl who went missing at a Portuguese hotel three months ago, British media reported Saturday.