Pakistan Violence: Why are Imran Khan, Qadri protesting against Nawaz Sharif? Explained

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Pakistan Protest
Islamabad, Aug 31: Imran Khan and Tahir-ul Qadri, the two leaders of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) respectively, intensified protest against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Sunday, Aug 31.

Why are Khan, Qadri and their supporters protesting against Sharif?

  • All supporters and followers of Khan and Qadri have been demanding resignation from the current Prime Minister of the country -- Nawaz Sharif, the leader of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
  • Nawaz Sharif and his party have been accused of rigging during the election to Parliament in 2013.
  • The PTI-led by Khan sought Sharif's ouster for a fair probe into the allegations that the general elections of 2013 were ragged.

Murder Charges against Nawaz Sharif:

  • Pakistani police registered a murder case against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and 20 others.
  • Sharif along with 20 other members have been booked for their alleged involvement in the police shootout on June 17.
  • At least 14 civilian protesters were killed during that shootout in Lahore.

Violent protest in Islamabad:

  • Agitators loyal to main opposition party leader Imran Khan and cleric Tahirul Qadri have been taking part in a sit-in from Aug 15.
  • At least eight people have been killed and more than 300 people were injured, claimed Khan and Qadri. However, government officials overruled reports of any casualty.
  • Police informed that more than 100 civilians have been arrested.
  • Islamabad police chief Khalid Khattak was quoted as saying, "Many of them (protesters) were armed with axes, hammers and cutters, and I'm sure they also have firearms though we haven't seen one yet."

Army's intervention:

  • Both Khan and Qadri accepted the role of the army chief Raheel Sharif as a mediator and guarantor in solving the current political impasse.
  • After their meeting with the Army chief, blame game began on Aug 28. While PM Nawaz Sharif claimed that Khan and Qadri had wanted army chief as a mediatator, Qadri denied such statements.

Protesters entered Parliament of Pakistan:

  • Reports of clashes have been reported from Islamabad's Constitution Avenue.
  • Clashes took place between the police and stone-pelting, baton-wielding protesters, some of whom have broken into part of the parliament and threatened other government buildings in Islamabad's red zone.
  • Citing tremendous protest in Islamabad, Nawaz Sharif on Aug 31 left the city and reached Lahore where he has been residing at his residence.
  • Roads leading to his residence have been blocked as police feared that protesters may try to enter his house as protest has been scattered in other cities of the country.

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