September 17, 2014 8:14:39 pm
Pakistan government and protesters were once again headed on collision course with Imran Khan declaring Friday as a ‘Day of Deliverance’ and a defiant Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday saying he will not resign on the wishes of a few thousand.
The country’s political crisis deepened with a murder case registered against Prime Minister Sharif, his ministers and other top officials last night for their alleged involvement in the killing of anti-government protesters.
At least three people were killed and over 500 injured in clashes with police on August 30 after Pakistan Tehreek-i- Insaf Chairman Khan and cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri of the Pakistan Awami Tehreek asked their supporters to march towards Sharif’s official residence. PAT had approached the court for registering of the case.
Khan announced late last night that Friday would be marked as ‘Go Nawaz Go’ Day and a ‘Day of Deliverance’. The cricketer-turned-politician, while addressing supporters in front of the Parliament, said he would continue the protest movement till Sharif resigns.
With Imran stepping up pressure on the government, Qadri also reiterated PAT’s demand for Sharif’s resignation. The PAT chief said Sharif and his close aides, booked for murder charges, should be arrested immediately. “If not today, then tomorrow they will be hanged,” Qadri said.
Prime Minister Sharif, while speaking at a public event in the Punjab province, said the entire nation had a unanimous view of pursuing a democratic path with only a few people pursuing negative politics that posed a serious threat to national development.
“Why should Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif resign on the demand of five thousand people,” the Prime Minister said, adding that he was sure the nation would stand by them. “The entire Parliament is on one side and a single party stands alone on the other (demanding resignation),” he said. Sharif highlighted that the government had shown a lot of patience in dealing with the Islamabad sit-ins.
“It is not hard to clear the containers and protesters, but we have shown patience in this regard,” Sharif said. Meanwhile, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) chief Sirajul Haq said negotiations with protesting parties — PTI and PAT — and the government will begin on Thursday.
“I have been in contact with members of various other political parties, and we have decided that negotiations with the rulers and the protesting parties will begin again tomorrow,” Haq said while addressing the media. Khan wants Sharif’s ouster over alleged rigging in last year’s poll which his party lost, while Qadri wants to bring a revolution in the country. They are agitating since August 14, demanding Sharif’s ouster.
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