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Anti-government protests in Pakistan enter a thirteenth day

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Anti-government protests in Pakistan enter a thirteenth day


Peaceful, anti-government protests in Pakistan took place for a thirteenth day on Tuesday (August 26), despite a Supreme Court order for the demonstrators outside the government in Islamabad to clear out.

Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan and populist cleric Tahir ul-Qadri are leading protests in the capital.

Thousands of their supporters are camping in the so-called “Red Zone” near the government buildings on Constitution Avenue.

One man said they won’t be moved until their demands are met or Khan asks them to move.

“The Supreme Court is asking us to vacate this place, but we will not go back until our demands are met,” he said. “We will keep sitting here until Imran Khan asks us to move.”

Another man pledged his allegiance to Tahir ul-Qadri.

“Every worker, every follower has to act according to the orders of his leader,” he said. “Doctor Quadri knows better what to do and what to order. We will obey his order.”

Meanwhile, thousands gathered in Lahore in support of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

The situation is at an impasse.

Opponents of Sharif are calling for the government to resign. The prime minister met Pakistan’s powerful army chief Raheel Sharif to discuss the situation.

The PM, who won the last election in May 2013 by a landslide, refuses to step down. However, Khan and Qadri say they won’t stop protesting until Sharif quits over accusations he rigged last year’s general election.

The Supreme Court has ordered the two groups to find a compromise solution.

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