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Pakistan opposition urges PM to quit, threatens marches

Pakistani politician Imran Khan on Saturday threatened Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with large-scale workers’ marches unless he steps down "as soon as possible."
Accompanied by thousands of protesters packing the main Islamabad highway, cricketer-turned politician Khan said the "tsunami" of his workers might march towards the prime minister’s residence or the parliament. Setting off his long march towards Islamabad on August 14 and reaching the capital on late August 15 after covering a grueling distance of 370 kilometers to press the government to step down, Khan told Prime Minister Sharif in terse words that the time was running out for him.
"Mr Nawaz Sharif, time is running out for you. I am asking you very politely to resign, otherwise the tsunami (of marchers) may proceed towards the prime minister house or the parliament," an emotional Khan said, addressing his supporters who were staging a sit-in at Kashmir Highway, two kilometers away from the parliament house.
Khan calls his supporters 'tsunami,' which he says would wash away the "corrupt" and "incompetent" rulers.
"I cannot control the passion of my workers anymore," Khan shouted.
"Therefore, you (Sharif) have to be quick to take a decision," he said amid consistent rain testing the nerves of his supporters.
Authorities have sealed the area and blocked all roads around the prime minister’s residence and the parliament. Some 30,000 security personnel have been deployed. Khan says the incumbent government led by Sharif is the result of "rigged" elections in May 2013, and that it must resign.
He vows he and his supporters would not leave the capital until their two key demands -- Sharif's resignation and dissolution of election commission -- are met. The government has already categorically rejected the two demands, calling them unconstitutional.
Participants of another long march led by Canada-returned religious scholar Dr Tahir ul Qadri, which entered Islamabad minutes before Khan’s supporters are sitting on a parallel road and demanding Sharif’s resignation. However, their other demands are totally opposite to Mr Khan's stance.
Dr Qadri, who returned from Canada in June amid deadly clashes between his supporters and the police that left 14 workers dead and over 1,900 injured including several policemen in the northeastern city of Lahore, says he has returned from Canada to bring about a “revolution” that is not possible through elections.
"Mid-term elections are not a solution to the current mess," a flamboyant Qadri told his 15,000 supporters who waved party flags and chanted slogans in favor of his "revolution."
"A national government will be set up after Sharif’s resignation, which will purify the current corrupt electoral process by introducing reforms, and only then, we will accept elections," he added.
Qadri too says he would not leave the capital until the government steps down.

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