INTRODUCTION: Ambassadors from several Moslem countries joined thousands of Pakistanis on Thursday (3 March) for celebrations in Rawalpindi marking the anniversary of the birth of the Moslem Prophet Mohammed.
GV & LV Crowds watch from rooftops as procession passes along decorates streets in Rawalpindi, Pakistan (2 shots)
SV Decorated floats drawn by bullock carts
LV Tapestries and flags being carried in procession (2 shots)
LV & SV Students in procession preceded by bullock carts (4 shots)
LV & SV Procession continues with model of holy Kaaba covered with black cloth in procession (2 shots)
LV PAN People watch from rooftops as procession continues with horse-drawn carts (3 shots)
LV & SV Costumed riders on camels (2 shots)
Observers in Pakistan note that this year's election has developed into the first serious test of Mr Bhutto's popularity after five years in government. The formation of a united opposition front, called the Pakistan National Alliance, quickly transformed the election scene. It is a nine-party alliance, virtually run by retired Air Marshal Asghar Khan and an eight week campaign has revealed a surprising amount of anti-government feeling among the electorate.
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Ambassadors from several Moslem countries joined thousands of Pakistanis on Thursday (3 March) for celebrations in Rawalpindi marking the anniversary of the birth of the Moslem Prophet Mohammed.
SYNOPSIS: The festival is known as Eid Milad un Nabi and this year was observed with unprecented religious fervour. The reason for this is that Pakistan is currently in the midst of general election fever, with all political parties pledging to carry out the dictates of Island. The election itself takes place on Monday (7 March).
People from many regions of Pakistan -- from the Khyber Pass in the north to Karachi in the south -- flocked tot Rawalpindi for the festival in a wide variety of transport -- including traditional slow-moving bullock carts.
Replicas of the holy places of Islam featured in processions through the streets of the city -- including one model of the holy Kaaba -- the most sacred relic -- shrouded in black as a mark of respect.
On the political front it is predicted that Prime Minster Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and his Pakistan People's Party will be given a new mandate in the elections -- but opposition has been much stronger than anticipated.