News / Asia

Anti-Government Protesters Reach Pakistan's Parliament

Pakistani Protesters Demand PM's Resignationi
X
August 20, 2014 4:13 AM
Tens of thousands of anti-government protesters marched on Pakistan's parliament Tuesday, demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The demonstrations are led by two charismatic opposition leaders who claim that the ruling party rigged the 2013 election, which marked the country's first peaceful transfer of power between two civilian governments. Zlatica Hoke reports the demonstrators vow to continue.

Watch related video report from VOA's Zlatica Hoke.

VOA News

Thousands of anti-government protesters have reached Pakistan's parliament building, despite the government's efforts to keep them away.

The protesters, armed with wire cutters and at least one crane, early Wednesday managed to get past the barricade of shipping containers that Pakistani security forces put in place to protect Islamabad's so-called "Red Zone." That's where the parliament building is located.  In addition to parliament, the area houses many Western embassies and the homes of the president and prime minister.

Among the protesters are supporters of cricket-star-turned-politician Imran Khan and anti-government cleric Tahir ul-Qadri, who are calling on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to resign. But the government has ruled out any possibility of Sharif resigning.

Pakistan deployed hundreds of soldiers and up to 30,000 additional security personnel to the area ahead of Tuesday's march.

The protesters include supporters of cricket-star-turned-politician Imran Khan and anti-government cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri.

Demonstrators from both camps have been massed in the capital for days.

The demonstrators led by Khan want Sharif to step down over alleged fraud in last year's parliamentary elections. Qadri also wants Prime Minister Sharif ousted.

But the government has ruled out any possibility of Sharif resigning, criticizing the demand as unconstitutional.

Announcing Tuesday's march Monday, Khan told supporters of his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf party, or PTI, that the party -- parliament's third-largest political bloc -- would resign from the national parliament and three provincial legislatures.

Hours before the march, Pakistan's interior minister announced the government had decided to hand over the security of the Red Zone to the military. The announcement appeared intended to send the message that the military supports the government -- not the protesters.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: MUSTAFA from: INDIA
August 19, 2014 10:44 PM
Imran Khan could not perform well in Provincial Govt. How Pakistani can expect better results on Federal Level. He did not open new school, college, University, Health Clinic, Hospital. He did not improve security situation, good business climate, new investment. When his performance is Big Minus, then how he can claim PM Position. First of all show your efficiency then go for bigger position. He cannot select good wife and cannot live with second wife because of mental disturbance.


by: shakil1 from: multan pakistan
August 19, 2014 8:30 PM
both of them seem to have lost their reason. they can give nothing but trouble to the Pakistani people. let there be some stability in this god forsaken country,


by: Anonymous
August 19, 2014 3:53 PM
Imran khan has gone mad thats all


by: zaheer from: usa
August 19, 2014 1:39 PM
Really? prejudice......You are calling a country's law enforcement agency 'riot'...really? you wanna know what riot is? Ferguson, Missouri...that's where riot police is.....

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid