The protest in Pakistan appears to have reached a crossroads. Late August 20th evening, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Imran Khan addressed his supporters at a massive rally in Islamabad, hours after his deadline for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s resignation lapsed. While his stance remained unchanged, earlier in the evening, the other leader of the protest, populist cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri was engaged by negotiators from the government and the opposition.
But Imran Khan wants no talks before Sharif steps down. “If Nawaz Sharif does not resign then we will enter into the PM house,” Khan said while addressing thousands of anti-government protesters who entered the heavily fortified ‘Red Zone’ and set up camp in front of Pakistan’s parliament house. Meanwhile, the military called for calm after protesters breached the Red Zone that houses important government buildings including the parliament house, prime minister house, president house, the supreme court besides embassies.
“Situation requires patience, wisdom and sagacity from all stakeholders to resolve prevailing impasse through meaningful dialogue in larger national and public interest,” military spokesman Maj Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa tweeted.
Impasse in Islamabad: Imran Khan adamant on Sharif step down, Sharif stays put