Pakistan parliament to hold emergency session

Pakistan parliament to hold emergency session

Tue Sep 2, 2014 5:53AM GMT

Pakistan is to hold a joint session of parliament to discuss the ongoing political turmoil amid persistent anti-government protests.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who has been facing calls to resign, is expected to address the emergency session of both houses of the parliament on Tuesday. The gathering appears to be an attempt to rally political support for the embattled premier.

Anti-government protesters led by opposition leaders Tahir ul-Qadri and Imran Khan have clashed with security forces in Islamabad in the past few days.

Several people have been killed and hundreds injured in the scuffles. Anti-government rallies have been going on for two weeks now.

Qadri and Khan both demand that Sharif step down over allegations of fraud in last year’s election. Qadri has insisted that Sharif should face murder charges and a terrorism probe.

Sharif, whose Pakistan Muslim League is the largest political party in the country, has said he is determined to protect democracy and will not resign.

Several rounds of negotiations between the representatives of Khan and Qadri and the government have failed to resolve the crisis.

Khan has denied allegations of outside influence on his protest. The military has also categorically rejected the idea that they backed the protesters and said their support for democracy was “unequivocal,” although Sharif’s relations with the military have become increasingly rocky over his year in power.

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