Several thousand Islamists have gathered in the southern Pakistani port city Karachi to demand President Pervez Musharraf's resignation.

Today's (Sunday) rally was organized by the six-party Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal alliance of religion-based political parties.

The crowd chanted slogans and carried banners denouncing Mr. Musharraf as well as the United States.

General Musharraf, who seized power in a bloodless coup in 1999, is a key U.S. ally in the war against terrorism and has cracked down on Islamic militancy.

He further angered the coalition, which has a strong voice in the parliament, by reneging on a promise to step down as a chief of the army by the end of last year.