Musharraf Starts Off Lahore Mixed Sex Marathon

Thankfully, this year’s coed race passed without any incident of stone throwing.

President Musharraf from Pakistan is a controversial figure here in the states where many think he does not do enough in fighting the War on Terror. This is despite the fact that Musharraf:

* Made headlines by shaking hands with Israeli Prime Minister Sharon at the UN
* Was the first Islamic Leader to meet with the American Jewish Congress
* Has held historic talks with Israel
* Promoted women’s emancipation in Pakistan
* Continues to dialogue on IndoPak relations and a Kashmir Resolution
* Promotes American and Pakistani military cooperation
* Has fought extensively against Al Qaeda extremism
* accepted Israeli aid after their devastating earthquake in 2005
* Musharraf helped push rape law reform

And, most importantly, because alternatives to Musharraf could be devastating!!

Today President Musharraf officially started off the Third annual Coed Lahore Marathon.

Runners take part in a race in Pakistan’s eastern city of Lahore January 14, 2007. Thousands of men and women took part in a long-distance race in Lahore on Sunday without any trouble from Islamists who have tried to disrupt similar events in the past. (REUTERS/Mohsin Raza)

More than 30,000 runners registered to enter into this year’s coed Lahore Marathon which went off without incident:

More than 30,000 people, including 50 athletes from 15 countries, registered to participate in different categories of the marathon, said organizer Ghaus Akbar.

“Although some religious elements had opposed the marathon, we have made best possible arrangements to avoid any untoward incident,” he said.

Lahore police chief Khawaja Khalid Farooq also said police were guarding the routes of the race, which was first held in 2005.

Two years ago, supporters of the country’s Islamic parties threw stones at some of the runners, claiming that such events were not allowed by Islam. Last year, dozens of Islamists held a peaceful rally against the race.

Ameer ul-Azeem, spokesman for the country’s most organized Jamaat-e-Islami party said Saturday that his party was against the marathon as “such sports events are aimed at spreading obscenity.” However, he said they had no plan to disrupt the race.

Many women runners chose to wear traditional garb to the race.

Pakistani women take part in a mixed-sex marathon Sunday, Jan. 14, 2007 in Lahore, Pakistan. President Gen. Pervez Musharraf officially started the marathon race, despite opposition by radical Islamic parties who say the event should be segregated by gender. More than 30,000 people have registered to participate in different categories of the marathon. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

Hillary Clinton was scheduled to participate in this year’s marathon according to The Nation but flew off to Kabul this morning.

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