Karachi, a city of 10 million and Pakistan’s commercial hub, was convulsed by gun-battles Saturday, as Pakistan’s US-backed military strongman, President Pervez Musharraf, resorted to deadly violence in a bid to quash the growing popular challenge to his rule. According to press reports, at least 36 people were killed and more than 140 injured when thugs allied with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), a pro-Musharraf party, attacked crowds gathering to show support for the country’s “suspended” Chief Justice, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.

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