Populist cleric threatens march to topple Pakistan government
Published on Aug 7, 2014 7:46 PM
LAHORE (AFP) - A populist cleric threatened Thursday to march on the Pakistani capital and overthrow the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, days after an opposition leader promised a massive anti-government rally to push for fresh elections.
Tahir-ul-Qadri alleges that more than 500 of his followers have been arrested by police in a campaign of intimidation, leaving him with no choice but to revolt if it continues.
A statement released by his Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) cited Qadri as saying: "If the government continues with the arrests of PAT workers or tries to arrest me, we will have no option left to immediately announce a call for the revolution."
Authorities have so far denied that any arrests have been made. But clashes between Qadri supporters and police in June left 14 activists dead in a rare example of political violence in the relatively peaceful Punjab province.
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