Pakistan detains opposition leader Nawaz Sharif

March 15, 2009 11:10

Police put opposition leader Nawaz Sharif under house arrest Sunday and clashed with anti-government demonstrators, fanning a political crisis that has caused alarm in the United States about Pakistan's stability in the face of rising Islamist violence. Sharif is locked in a bitter power struggle with Pakistan's president that threatens to paralyze politics in the nuclear-armed country and dilute its focus on tackling economic woes as well as Taliban militants operating along the Afghan border. Hundreds of police surrounded the former prime minister's residence in the eastern city of Lahore before dawn on Sunday and detained him along with scores of his supporters. Officers showed party officials an order placing Sharif and his politician brother Shahbaz under house arrest for three days, party spokesman Pervaiz Rasheed said.

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