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Pakistan judge orders release of detainees

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  • Pakistan chief justice orders immediate release of detainees
  • Critics: Musharraf cannot run for presidency while remaining army chief
  • Musharraf's popularity in decline since failed attempt to fire chief justice
  • Pakistan is to hold its presidential election on 6 October
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LAHORE, Pakistan (CNN) -- The chief justice of Pakistan's Supreme Court Thursday ordered the government to immediately release recently detained political opposition members.

Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry made the ruling when he queried officials about an order to close roads into Islamabad to stop a lawyer-led protest against the filing of President Gen. Pervez Musharraf's nomination papers for another five-year presidential term.

Chaudhry ordered the reopening of the roads.

Police said hundreds of people had been arrested in advance of next month's election for president. The arrests focused on opposition workers and activists opposed to Musharraf's effort to gain re-election.

After Musharraf signaled his plan to resign as army chief if re-elected president, the Election Commission announced that the presidential ballot by federal and provincial lawmakers would be held on Oct. 6. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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