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Pakistani cleric tells protesters to blockade parliament, PM inside

Published on Aug 20, 2014 5:23 PM
Supporters of Pakistani cleric Mohammad Tahir ul-Qadri sleep at the entrance of the parliament house in Islamabad on Aug 20, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD (REUTERS, AFP) - An anti-government Pakistani cleric told his protesting supporters camped outside parliament on Wednesday not to allow anyone in or out of the assembly, which is in session with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in attendance.

"Don't let all those inside come out and don't let anyone go in," the cleric, Mr Tahir ul-Qadri, told his supporters outside parliament in the capital, Islamabad.

Mr Qadri and opposition politician Imran Khan are trying to force Mr Sharif to resign over allegations of election rigging and corruption. After five days of protesting in Islamabad, they led supporters past shipping container barricades to reach parliament.

Despite fears of violence - many protesters were equipped with gas masks and batons - riot police and other security forces looked on without intervening.

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