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Pakistan's ex-premier Khan calls off protest march

Pakistan's ex-premier Khan calls off protest march
Imran Khan gives 6-day deadline to government to dissolve parliament, announce snap polls

By Islamuddin Sajid

ISLAMABAD (AA) - Pakistan's former Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday called off his protest march to the capital Islamabad giving a six-day deadline to the government to announce early elections.

Khan arrived in Islamabad late on Wednesday night after an hours-long journey and facing huge resistance from police.

His supporters reached D-Chowk near parliament ahead of Khan's arrival where police fired teargas shells to disperse the crowd.

The clashes between police and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party's supporters continued through the night until Thursday morning.

The government called the army to be deployed at the red zone, where the President House, Prime Minister House, Parliament, Supreme Court of Pakistan and foreign embassies are located.

This morning Khan called off the protest saying he did not want to move into confrontation.

"I am giving you (government) six days to announce a date for snap election. If you don't announce election, I will come back to Islamabad again with (the support of) Pakistanis," Khan said in an address to his supporters.

PTI's bigwig Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who has also served as the country's former foreign minister, claimed five party supporters were killed in the police action, while 1,400 others were arbitrarily arrested.

A constable was also allegedly shot dead by a local PTI leader when the police raided his house in Lahore late Tuesday night.

Khan, who was removed after a parliamentary no-trust motion last month, announced the "long march" to press his demand for snap elections, which are otherwise due in 2023.

The government has rejected his demands, announcing that the current setup would continue until August next year.

source: News Feed
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