Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Ashraf’s arrest over strong suspicions of corruption came as a large demonstration in Islamabad was raising tensions over a possibly upcoming power struggle.
Minhaj-ul-Quran International, a non-governmental organisation, had organised a march on the capital, starting from Lahore, 400 kilometres away, on Sunday, though it failed to rally the number it had hoped for.
An unexpected development is the appearance of self-proclaimed revolutionary leader Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri.
Till December, the 61-year-old had been living in Canada for six years.
This leaves experts raising questions.
Analyst Harry Sultan said: “This particular person has come out of oblivion, from somewhere he was totally unknown and implanted in the political arena of Pakistan at a very convenient time. So, it is confusing most analysts: what is his real purpose? Who is really behind him? And what are his motivations? And what will be the achievement of this protest?”
Speculation about the Sufi scholar-cleric has touched on whether Pakistan’s powerful military or even the US may be backing him.
He has called vigorously to clean up government.
Sultan said: “Some international powers may be funding him for this. Otherwise it is not possible.”
Qadri says elections scheduled for this spring should be delayed indefinitely until Pakistan’s endemic corruption is rooted out.
His reform drive is the latest in a series of challenges for the US-backed administration.
The elections, if they proceed on time, could cement Pakistan’s transition from military rule by marking the first time a civilian-led government has completed a five-year term and handed over power at the ballot box.
Qadri’s surge came as tens of thousands of Pakistani Shiite Muslims began burying the nearly 100 victims of one of the worst sectarian bombing attacks in the country’s history last Thursday.
They demanded better protection.
The government is also struggling with Taliban insurgents near the border with Afghanistan.
- 1Pope Francis kisses hands of Holocaust survivors
- 2German interior minister criticises lack of appreciation from some refugees
- 3ISIL operations centre in Idlib, Syria ‘destroyed’ by Russian airstrike
- 4Bombing in Syria not World War III, says Russia’s EU ambassador
- 5Russian action ‘resets chessboard in Syria,’ says analyst
- 1NASA discovers evidence of “liquid briny water” flowing on Mars
- 2Pope Francis kisses hands of Holocaust survivors
- 3Poland: thousands turn out for anti-immigration protests
- 4Exclusive: shipwatchers chart Russian hardware heading into Med
- 5France claims Russian jets have struck rebel, not IS forces in Homs
- 1euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 2Syrian refugee tripped by shamed camera woman is named
- 3Hungarian camera woman caught on video kicking and tripping migrants could face jail
- 4Hungarian reporter who tripped migrants apologises for her actions
- 5NASA discovers evidence of “liquid briny water” flowing on Mars
- 6Latest News Bulletin
- 7At least 220 dead in stampede outside Mecca, Saudi Arabia reports
- 8Egyptian billionaire offers to buy Mediterranean island to house refugees
- 9International breaking news | euronews online world breaking news in video
- 10What the top tweets worldwide are saying about #refugees
- 11Why aren’t rich Gulf states welcoming Syrian refugees… or are they?
- 12Hungarian camerawoman fired after being filmed kicking migrants
- 13Denmark: launches anti-migrant ad campaign
- 14Spain: Catalan President faces ‘civil disobedience’ charges over breakaway vote
- 15Which European countries offer the most social benefits to migrants?
- 16Banzai back in the vocabulary as Japan passes law allowing combat deployments
- 17Exclusive: shipwatchers chart Russian hardware heading into Med
- 18Why aren’t rich Gulf states welcoming Syrian refugees…or are they?
- 19International news | euronews, latest international news
- 20Migrant tripped up in Hungary gets Spanish football job
Latest world news
Thousands attend funeral ceremony in Tehran for Hajj crush victims
Flash floods in France leave a trail of death and destruction
#inondations: French president visits flood-hit region
Russian air strike hits terrorist training camp in Syria, say defence officials
Palestinians barred from visiting Jerusalem’s Old City amid tension
Wires > News
- 19:59 CET Turkey’s ruling AK Party backs presidential system in poll…
- 19:57 CET Russia is conducting ‘asymmetric warfare’ in Syria – Hammond
- 19:34 CET German finance minister says need to limit number of refugees…
- 19:12 CET Families mourn victims of Guatemala landslide, hundreds feared dead
- 18:39 CET About 300 people still missing after Guatemala landslide
- 18:21 CET Pro-Moscow Social Democrats lead in Kyrgyz parliamentary election
- 18:14 CET Death toll in French Riviera floods rises to at least 16, natural…
- 18:11 CET Middle East would be more stable if Saddam, Gaddafi still in power…