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Pakistan PM chairs joint parliament session as crisis deepens

Bishkek (AKIpress) -  Nawaz SharifPakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chaired a joint session of parliament on Tuesday as a deepening crisis over violent protests demanding his resignation prompted fears of an army intervention.

Sharif's office said parliament would be in session all week to discuss the crisis.

"This is not a protest, a sit-in or a political gathering. This is a rebellion. It is a rebellion against state institutions. It is a rebellion against the state of Pakistan," Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar told parliament.

Sharif made no remarks in parliament, taking notes and listening to speeches. A spokesman said Sharif might speak at the end of the session.

Pakistan has been in turmoil since mid-August when tens of thousands of protesters led by Imran Khan, a former hero cricket player, and outspoken cleric Tahir ul-Qadri flooded into the capital Islamabad refusing to leave unless Sharif resigns.

The protesters accuse the government of corruption and Sharif of rigging the election last year. He denies that and has refused to step down.


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