Two suicide attacks killed at least 31 people and injured more than 200 in Lahore on Tuesday as suspected Islamist militants escalated their campaign of mayhem in Pakistan's largest cities. The bombs were the latest in a string of attacks against military and police targets in Lahore, the previously peaceful capital of Punjab province.
Pakistan's two major opposition leaders signed a formal declaration Sunday on forming a coalition government, and urged President Pervez Musharraf to convene Parliament without delay. Asif Ali Zardari, widowed husband of ex-premier Benazir Bhutto, and Nawaz Sharif signed the agreement at a news conference after a fresh round of coalition talks.
Vote counting got under way on Monday after a lacklustre turnout in Pakistan's parliamentary elections, which passed off relatively peacefully despite fears of sabotage by Islamic militants. With his future hanging in the balance, President Pervez Musharraf resolved to work with the new civilian government.
Pakistan's political future hung in the balance on Sunday with Benazir Bhutto's party deciding whether to pull out of planned elections amid an acrimonious dispute over how she was killed. Her husband and top party officials were also expected to name a successor to Bhutto as head of the country's largest opposition party.
Opposition leader Benazir Bhutto will not be allowed to hold a protest procession across Pakistan because it would violate a ban on political rallies imposed under the current state of emergency, a government spokesperson said on Monday. Bhutto was due to leave the eastern city of Lahore on Tuesday morning for the capital, Islamabad.
A senior government official on Monday rejected a call from Benazir Bhutto for foreign experts to help investigate the suicide attack on her homecoming procession. Bhutto said on Sunday she wanted United States and British experts to assist in the probe into Thursday night's bombing in Karachi.