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Thousands take part in 300km anti-government protest march in Pakistan

Published on Aug 15, 2014 1:38 AM
Pakistan cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan (top, centre) heads a protest march from Lahore to Islamabad against the government, in Lahore on August 14, 2014. Thousands of protesters gathered in the Pakistani city of Lahore on August 14, preparing to march on the capital to unseat the government they claim was elected by fraud. -- PHOTO: AFP 

LAHORE, Pakistan (AFP) - Thousands of protesters on Thursday began a march from the Pakistani city of Lahore to the capital in a bid to unseat the government, which they claim was elected by fraud.

Supporters of cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan and populist preacher Tahir-ul-Qadri massed separately in Lahore before announcing the start of their 300km journey to rally in Islamabad.

Both Khan and Qadri say the May 2013 general election was rigged and want Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to resign and hold new polls. Sharif won by a landslide.

The two groups, travelling in motorised convoy to Islamabad on the anniversary of Pakistan's independence from Britain, made slow progress in setting off and by late evening had not even left Lahore.

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