Quotes: US MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Pakistan army urges talks as protesters await political showdown  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 20/08/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Imran Khan the former cricket star and now chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) and preacher Tahir Ul Qadri have led days of protests demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Supporters of Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan chant slogans during a protest in Islamabad Pakistan.- AP

Pakistan’s powerful military called on Wednesday for talks to resolve a week-long political drama as tens of thousands of protesters marched on parliament in a bid to depose the prime minister.

Men women and children of all ages staged a sit-in outside the parliament building after defying a government ban on entering Islamabad’s “red zone” which houses key buildings including the official residences of the prime minister and the president and foreign embassies.

Imran Khan the former cricket star and now chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) and preacher Tahir Ul Qadri have led days of protests demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

They say last year’s general election was rigged and have piled pressure on the government starting with two-day “long marches” from the eastern city of Lahore to Islamabad where they have held five days of rallies.

The government had banned them from the red zone. But Khan and Qadri defied the call and soon after midnight on Wednesday thousands of their supporters entered the high-security area using cranes to remove shipping containers put in place to seal off the area.

Tens of thousands of security personnel have been deployed to maintain order. On Tuesday the government doubled the contingent of soldiers guarding sensitive buildings in the red zone to 700.

As Khan and Qadri’s followers entered the zone army spokesman General Asim Bajwa called for restraint and a negotiated settlement.

“Situation requires patience wisdom and sagacity from all stakeholders to resolve prevailing impasse through meaningful dialogue in larger national and public interest” he said through a recognised Twitter account.

The unexpected late-night intervention from the military which is hugely influential in Pakistan came after Khan issued an ultimatum demanding Sharif resign by Wednesday evening.

“Nawaz Sharif I will wait for your resignation until tomorrow evening and after that we will enter inside the prime minister’s house” Khan said calling on his supporters to gather at 4:00 pm (11:00 GMT) on Wednesday.

Qadri however distanced himself from Khan’s call saying his supporters would maintain a peaceful sit-in until Sharif resigned.

“We will stay here until the sun of revolution rises and a national government is formed” Qadri said after reaching the parliament building early Wednesday.

“Do not enter inside the president and prime minister’s houses or the prime minister’s secretariat.”

Despite fears of violence there were no major clashes as the protesters entered the red zone Wednesday with security forces standing off and the government pledging restraint.

Both Khan and Qadri have ordered their followers who numbered an estimated 35000 on Tuesday night to avoid violence during the sit-ins.

After the leader’s speeches overnight many of the protesters went to sleep on the road and lawns in front of the parliament hampering morning traffic in the area.

Local media reports said lawmakers judges and staff were unable to reach the parliament or the court due to the sit-in.

The United States which is closely monitoring the protests echoed the call for demonstrators to avoid violence urging all parties to “resolve their differences through peaceful dialogue”.

Nuclear-armed Pakistan has experienced three military coups and the protests triggered speculation about possible intervention by the armed forces.

Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) party has accused the protesters of trying to derail the nation’s perennially fragile democratic system as the government struggles with Taliban militancy and a flagging economy.

Opposition parties have shunned Khan’s call to unseat the government while newspapers and business leaders have also criticised Khan’s tactics which include a call for “civil disobedience”.

Britain one of Pakistan’s leading partners and a major aid donor urged the two sides to find a democratic solution to the crisis.

The European Union also voiced its support for democracy in Pakistan — and linked it to a highly prized trade deal.

The general election of May 2013 which swept Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) party to power — and brought PTI its best-ever result — was rated as free and credible by international observers but both Khan and Qadri insist it was fixed.

Last week Sharif tried to head off the protests by setting up a judicial commission to investigate rigging allegations but Khan dismissed the proposal immediately. For more news from Khaleej Times follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/khaleejtimes and on Twitter at khaleejtimes Follow khaleejtimes ->

 


Khaleej Times




  MENA News Headlines
 Sep 20 2014 - Syrian Kurds fleeing to Turkey pass 45000-markArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) SURUC Turkey: Tens of thousands of Syrian Kurds have crossed into Turkey in the past 24 hours fleeing an advance by Islamic State fighters who have seized dozens of villages ...

 Sep 20 2014 - Yemen TV building on fire as clashes continue in capitalArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) SANAA: Yemen's state-run television building caught fire after a three-day mortar attack by Shiite rebels who are protesting against the government residents and a TV employee ...

 Sep 20 2014 - Saudi- Jubail airport handles first civilian flightArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) The first civilian aircraft landed at Jubail airport on Thursday morning marking its transformation from a purely military facility.The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) ...

 Sep 20 2014 - Saudi- Four held for stealing money carsArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Jubail police have arrested four young men who stole money from a company's safe and four vehicles from a car rental firm. They used the cars for drifting.Col. Ziad Al-Ruqaiti ...

 Sep 20 2014 - Saudi- Factories ignore safety rulesArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Many factories and workshops in the Kingdom do not abide by safety and security standards to protect their buildings against fires. Such factories also do not maintain their air ...

 Sep 20 2014 - Saudi- Preparations for pilgrims in Madinah completeArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Madinah Mayor Khaled Taher said that the municipality's preparations for this year's Haj have been completed as scheduled. The municipality's action plan aims at offering ...

 Sep 20 2014 - Saudi- 1000 Mozambicans to arrive next weekArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Some 1000 pilgrims from Mozambique will arrive in Jeddah for this year's Haj in three separate groups according to Mozambican Ambassador Cesar Gouveia.'I'll be traveling to ...

 Sep 20 2014 - Saudi- Security agencies ready for any situation during HajArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Security and government agencies responsible for pilgrims' welfare during Haj are fully equipped to tackle any disaster including a helicopter ambulance and doctors linked with ...

 Sep 20 2014 - Saudi- Women investors beat men in stock marketArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) The number of Saudi women investors in the stock market has grown by 5 percent while men investors increased by 2 percent over the first half of this year.There are now 892900 ...

 Sep 20 2014 - With 4.2m links 47m clips IS rules cyberspaceArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) A 44-page search result by the search engine Google has revealed 4.2 million links and counting of Arabic websites newspapers and social networking sites in reference to ...

more...


 






Google

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

IPO News
Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

US Markets Details

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Investment Game
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary

My MENAFN
Portfolio Tracker

Voting

Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2000 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help