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World

Amid Unrest, Pakistan Celebrates Independence

Pakistan is celebrating its 61st independence day on Thursday as the country continues to be rocked by militant unrest and deadly bombings.

Musharraf seized power in a bloodless coup

Musharraf, while embattled, is still holding to power

Patriotic displays and celebrations come amid ongoing unrest in the tribal belt bordering Afghanistan, where 35 people were slain Wednesday.

In a separate suicide blast in Lahore, Pakistan's second largest city, another seven people were killed.

President claims commitment to change

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani proclaimed that his government is committed to steering Pakistan out of the current political and economic situation.

Gilani said "confrontationalism" of the past had done much damage to the nation but now the democratic forces have united to block dictatorship.

Message to Musharraf

Gilani's remarks came hours after Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf called for shunning "a confrontational approach," as the ruling coalition expedited its efforts to impeach the embattled leader, if he did not resign.

"The era of repression is over. Dictatorship is a thing of the past," Gilani said in an apparently direct message to Musharraf, who seized power eight years ago in a bloodless military coup.

Pakistan suffers from record inflation due to global surges in the price of fuel and wheat flour, and is facing a severe power shortage.

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