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Pakistan's Imran Khan calls off talks to end protest impasse

Published on Aug 21, 2014 7:21 PM
Pakistani opposition politician Imran Khan addresses his supporters during what has been dubbed a "freedom march" in Islamabad on Aug 20, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD (AFP) - Pakistani opposition politician Imran Khan on Thursday called off talks with the government aimed at ending protests seeking the fall of the prime minister, which have destabilised the nuclear-armed nation.

Mr Khan and populist cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri have led followers protesting outside parliament for the past two days demanding Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif quit.

Talks to end the standoff - which began a week ago with "long marches" from the eastern city of Lahore - started on Wednesday but made little headway.

Mr Khan insists the May 2013 General Election, won in a landslide by Mr Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) party, was rigged, despite independent international observers judging it free and credible.

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