The Knucklehead of the Day award
Today's winner is Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf. He gets the award for the following.
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was freed from house arrest late on Friday, hours after she was stopped from leaving her Islamabad home to lead a rally against the president's imposition of emergency rule.James Joyner at OTB writes "One hopes the release of Bhutto is a sign that Musharraf realizes he has overplayed his hand." I doubt it. Musharraf looks to have only his own self interest on his mind. Arresting Bhutto was a gross blunder, one sure to inflame the chaotic situation right now. That's why I name Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf today's Knucklehead of the Day.
A security official said police barricades around Bhutto's home were being taken down. A spokeswoman for Bhutto's party, Sherry Rehman, said she had no information about the lifting of the order.
Earlier in the day police prevented Bhutto from leaving her home and sealed off the capital and the nearby city of Rawalpindi to stop a rally against President Pervez Musharraf.
Bhutto, the politician most capable of galvanizing mass protests against army chief Musharraf, had appealed to police to let her through their cordon.
"The government has been paralyzed," Bhutto shouted to supporters across a barbed-wire barricade.
"If he restores the constitution, takes off his uniform, gives up the office of the chief of army staff and announces an election by January 15, then it's OK," she said, vowing defiance if Musharraf did not comply.
Police wielded batons and fired teargas to break up small protests in several parts of the country.
Musharraf, who took power in a bloodless 1999 coup, imposed emergency rule last Saturday citing a hostile judiciary and rising militancy in the nuclear-armed U.S. ally.
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