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Pakistan provincial assembly votes against musharraf

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Supporters of a Pakistan’s largest Islamic party Jamat-e-Islami shout as they burn an effigy of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf during a protest in Islamabad.

Legislators in northwest Pakistan approved a no-confidence vote in Pervez Musharraf today, the second province to back the initial step in impeaching the president.

The motion was passed by a huge margin of 107 votes to four, North West Frontier Province assembly speaker Karamatullah Khan announced, amid chants of “Go Musharraf, Go!” from lawmakers.

A female assembly member from the party of Nawaz Sharif, a key member of the ruling coalition and the man ousted by Musharraf in a 1999 coup, tore a portrait of the president to pieces on the floor of the house.

It came a day after the assembly of Punjab province, Pakistan’s most powerful and populous region, approved a similar motion. The country’s two remaining provinces, Sindh and Baluchistan, are set to vote later this week.

The resolutions are not binding but are designed to ramp up the pressure on Musharraf to resign after the ruling coalition announced on Thursday that it would launch impeachment proceedings against him.

The NWFP motion accused Musharraf of following policies that had triggered unrest in the province bordering Afghanistan, which has suffered the worst.