Update 31st August, 2014: At least 3 killed and over 200 protesters injured within 24 hours of the clashes in Islamabad.
(ISLAMABAD) – Late Friday night and in early hours of the Sunday morning, supporters of a Pakistani Muslim cleric, Tahirul Qadri, and many of Imran Khan, an opposition politician, marched towards Prime Minister’s official residence during an anti-government protest in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad.
Hundreds of protesters including women and children were injured when Police clashed with them. Police fired tear gas to disperse protesters, who were carrying sticks, slingshots and hardware tools in their hands. A couple of policemen were also seen been injured and taken away for medical aid.
Reports are coming in for over a hundred injured and sent to nearby Hospitals, where doctors are already present on full emergency call since evening.
Protesters in Islamabad have barged in the Parliament enclosure already and have reached the white building where army troops can be seen standing alert. No clash has been observed between the civilians and the army so far.
There are also several riots being reported around the country and small scale clashes between protesters and Police, especially in major cities like Lahore and Karachi.
Khan and Qadri separately asked their thousands of supporters to march in front of the PM House and stage a sit-in to force Prime Minister, Mr. Nawaz Sharif, to resign. Khan said that the last year’s parliamentary polls that brought Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League (N) to power were massively rigged. Similarly, Qadri wants a complete overhaul of the electoral system.
Earlier this week, an ex-additional secretary of the 2013 elections, Afzal Khan, declared that the elections were 100% rigged and bogus. Later, several round of talks were conducted between the Sharif’s government, Qadri and Khan himself, facilitated by the army. Tensions arose the talks ended without any conclusion, and Mr. Sharif’s statement of calling Army for negotiations backfired.
Political crisis in Pakistan continues for now over 2 weeks of sit-ins and country-wide protests.