News / Asia

    In Islamabad, Mass Rallies to Unseat PM

    A national flag is seen amidst the supporters of Muhammad Tahirul Qadri, Sufi cleric and leader of political party Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), as they gather to listen to his speech during the Revolution March in Islamabad, Aug. 16, 2014.
    A national flag is seen amidst the supporters of Muhammad Tahirul Qadri, Sufi cleric and leader of political party Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), as they gather to listen to his speech during the Revolution March in Islamabad, Aug. 16, 2014.
    VOA News

    Tens of thousands of anti-government protesters rallied in Pakistan's capital Saturday, vowing to stay until Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif resigns and new elections are held.

    The protesters are part of separate demonstrations led by opposition leader Imran Khan and Muslim cleric Tahir ul-Qadri.

    Qadri told his supporters Sharif should be arrested when he steps down.

    Khan reiterated his allegation that last year's election that brought Sharif's political party to power was marred by "massive rigging.". He also repeated his demands for new elections under a reformed electoral commission.

    Authorities have tightened security in key areas of Islamabad to prevent violence during the protests.

    The protests constitute the biggest challenge yet to Sharif's year-old government and raise concerns about political instability in the nuclear-armed nation.

    Khan and Qadri say the government is corrupt. Their two movements are not officially allied.

    Sharif has not indicated he intends to resign, and he denies the election-rigging charges.

    Earlier this week, Sharif called for a discussion of the issues, rather than political action. He has warned against what he calls "any effort to create anarchy and play with the constitution," adding the government "will not allow anyone to paralyze the state machinery or incite bloody riots."

    Qadri is demanding justice after a police crackdown on an anti-government rally in June, in which about a dozen people died. He says authorities are targeting his supporters using anti-terrorism laws.

    On Friday, clashes broke out in the city of Gujranwala after gunshots were fired at Khan's vehicle as he led an anti-government march to Islamabad. The shots hit Khan's vehicle, but his spokeswoman said he was not hurt. A stone-throwing mob also attacked Khan's convoy.

    Around 25,000 security forces are guarding the capital's streets. Internet and mobile services have been suspended in many areas.

    Thousands Head to Opposition Rally in Pakistan

    • Supporters of Pakistan's cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, in green shirts, clash with supporters of the ruling party in Gujranwala, Pakistan, Aug. 15, 2014.
    • A supporter of Pakistan's ruling party throws a rock at the procession of cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan in Gujranwala, Pakistan, Aug. 15, 2014.
    • Clashes broke out between supporters and non-supporters of politician Imran Khan, with both parties throwing rocks at each other, at the Freedom March, in Gujranwala, Aug. 15, 2014.
    • Policemen move to disperse residents after they threw stones at participants of the Freedom March, led by cricketer-turned-opposition politician Imran Khan, in Gujranwala, Aug. 15, 2014.
    • Supporters of cricketer-turned-opposition politician Imran Khan take part in the Freedom March in Gujranwala, Pakistan, Aug. 15, 2014.

    Some information for this report comes from AP and AFP.

    You May Like

    Video Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Lawrence Bush from: Houston, Texas
    August 16, 2014 1:28 PM
    As per the constitutionality of our friendly state Pakistan, prime minister Nawaz Sarif & co. were elected in the national election in May, 2013. The election had seen Imran Khan participating and losing. As an opposition leader, he does have rights to protest but a costitutionally elected govt. in Pak democracy must stand as it's till completing its due term.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora