Pakistan govt braces for possible showdown with protesters

Pakistan protest
Islamabad, Aug 28: Pakistan's PML-N-led government today braced for a possible showdown with the anti-government protesters after failure of the fifth round of talks, with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif rejecting their demands to quit.

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Tahirul Qadri have snapped communications with the official negotiators after the fifth round of talks failed to produce any result last night.

Khan wants the PML-N government's ouster over alleged rigging in last year's poll which his party lost, while Qadri wants to bring a revolution in the country. The two leaders have been protesting with their thousands of supporters in front of the parliament since mid-August.

Qadri had termed today as 'Day of Revolution' and promised to make a big announcement by the evening. Khan has said that he was hoping for a change and asked his followers to come in big numbers in the evening.

Sharif has cancelled today's planned visit to Turkey to attend the oath-taking ceremony of Tayyab Erdogan who has won the presidential polls. Now president Mamnoon Hussain will represent Pakistan.

The pressure on the PML-N government mounted after Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain asked Sharif to accept the legal demands of Qadri.

Apart from his so called revolution agenda, the Canada- based cleric is pressing the government to register murder case against Sharif, his younger brother Shahbaz Sharif and several ministers for killing of his 14 supporters in clashes with police on June 17 in Lahore. The government has offered to launch the case if names of Sharif brothers are dropped, a stand declined by the cleric.


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