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Pakistan Opposition push to excide President -

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LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: Pakistan celebrated its 61st independence day today with President Pervez
Musharraf appealing for political stability.

But with the country wracked by terrorism, a crumbling economy, and increasing tensions with its
huge neighbour India, over disputed Kashmir, the governing parliamentary coalition was pushing
ahead with moves to remove the President.

Foreign affairs editor Peter Cave reports from the ABC's South Asia bureau.

PETER CAVE, REPORTER: As the rest of the country celebrated the beginning of Independence Day at
midnight with fireworks, a suicide bomber provided his own fireworks in the eastern city of Lahore.

At least eight people died and dozens were injured as the bomber targeted police guarding a mosque
next to a police station. Most of the casualties however were civilians on the street celebrating.

VOX POP (translation): Something hit my back (says this man) and when I looked around I saw that my
child was injured. His arm broken. I took him to the hospital, there was mayhem all around.

PETER CAVE: As well as terrorism Pakistan faced record inflation, growing unemployment, crippling
electricity shortages, and a plummeting stock market.

Fighting in the Baja tribal zone continues to rage with the US and its allies ignoring Pakistan's
sovereignty to strike at Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants, using it as a base to strike at targets in
Afghanistan.

Last week the ruling parliamentary coalition, the Pakistan People's Party, of the slain former
Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto, and the party of the man opposed by President Musharraf in a
military coup in 1999, Nawa Sharif, finally agreed to set in impeachment proceedings against the
former military dictator.

Since then they've been ratcheting up the pressure on him to resign ,to avoid the humiliation of
impeachment, or even a possible death sentence for treason.

But there was no sign that the President was prepared to budge; as he addressed the nation for
Independence Day.

PERVEZ MUSHARRAF, PAKISTANI PRESIDENT (translation): I wanted to say that if we have to fix our
economy, and fight terrorism then we need political stability in Pakistan.

And unless we bring political stability to Pakistan we can't fight both things properly. And in my
view political stability will come through a reconciliation approach as opposed to a
confrontational approach.

PETER CAVE: The coalition was unimpressed, confirming that a list of charges against the President
would be ready to go to Parliament next week.

There was instability growing too on Pakistan's disputed frontier with India in Kashmir. More than
20 separatist Muslim demonstrators were killed by Indian security forces earlier this week,
including the leading separatist political Sheikh Aziz.

And their leaders are calling for mass demonstrations to mark Indian Independence Day tomorrow.

Peter Cave, Lateline.