Despite violent resistance, some 60,000 protesters, led by opposition party leader Imran Khan, marched on Islamabad late Friday to call for the ouster of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
According to the BBC, the march came under attack twice — once from groups throwing stones in a city south of the capital, and again when unknown attackers shot toward Khan’s vehicle.
But Al Jazeera says the clashes don’t appear to have deterred the marchers.
“If a large number of people are able to get into Islamabad, then, of course, it would put tremendous pressure on the government of Nawaz Sharif.”
“There is increasing frustration about a sliding economy, growing militancy and a failure to improve infrastructure.” (Video via Euronews)
And according to Bloomberg, Khan specifically has accused the government of fraud in last year’s elections.
“As many as 70,000 ballots couldn’t be verified, he said, and he rejected findings from special election courts that threw out his complaints because of a lack of evidence.”
“Khan is now demanding that Sharif resign and new polls be held. The opposition leader said he’d stage a sit-in on Saturday afternoon that would continue until Sharif leaves office.” (Video via Press TV)
The protests could be another point of tension for the government in Pakistan, which has been busy in recent months fighting the Pakistani Taliban. (Video via ABC)
So far, neither Sharif nor his administration have made an official response to the protests. It's not clear how many of Khan's supporters plan to stay in the city.