Pakistan's new prime minister triggered an immediate showdown with Pervez Musharraf on Monday, ordering the release of judges detained by the president just moments after being elected. Musharraf had ordered the judges held in November amid fears they might challenge his grip on power in the nuclear-armed nation.
Pakistan's Parliament prepared on Monday to elect a new prime minister as the coalition government appeared set for a confrontation with key United States ally President Pervez Musharraf. Yousuf Raza Gilani, the candidate nominated by the party of slain opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, is a virtual certainty to win.
Pakistan's election commission said the date for parliamentary elections would be announced on Wednesday, with a delay until February now in view following the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. The January 8 vote, the next step along the road to civilian-led democracy in Pakistan, was thrown into chaos with the killing of the opposition leader last week.
Pakistan was on Saturday gripped by division and uncertainty following the burial of slain opposition leader Benazir Bhutto as her supporters angrily rejected a government explanation of her death. Bhutto died on Thursday shortly after a suicide attack targeting her vehicle at a campaign rally in the northern city of Rawalpindi.