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Pakistan opposition groups resume talks to end crisis

Published on Sep 4, 2014 3:49 AM
Pakistani cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan talks to supporters during an anti-government protest near the prime minister's residence in Islamabad on Sept 3, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD (AFP) - Pakistani opposition groups on Wednesday resumed talks with the government in a bid to end the political crisis rocking the country, but a stalemate over demands for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's resignation dragged on.

The fresh talks came after days of clashes between police and club-wielding anti-government protesters left three dead and hundreds injured, raising fears of an intervention by the powerful military that has ruled Pakistan for more than half its history.

Government negotiators met briefly with members of the Pakistan Tehreek Insaf (PTI) party of cricketing legend Imran Khan - who has been leading the protests along with populist cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri - but they left without addressing the media.

Separate negotiations between Qadri and a cross-party team of opposition lawmakers were ongoing late Wednesday. Both Khan and Qadri claim that the 2013 general election which swept Sharif to power was heavily rigged.

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