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Country Report Pakistan Product Image

Country Report Pakistan

  • ID: 2101420
  • September 2014
  • Region: Pakistan
  • 25 Pages
  • The Economist Intelligence Unit

Anti-government protests continue in Pakistan, weeks after they first started with a sit-in in the capital, Islamabad, on August 14th. The protest leaders, the former cricketer, Imran Khan, and a cleric, Tahir-ul-Qadri, insist that their supporters will not disperse until the prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, resigns. The army, which is widely suspected of backing the protests, looks unlikely to take over and has voiced support for democracy. However, the enduring uncertainty is taking a toll on government functioning, the economy, and is building pressure on Mr Sharif to resign and announce fresh elections.

On September 21st Mr Khan's campaign to oust Mr Sharif received a boost, as the opposition politician held a vast rally in the country's largest city, Karachi. The crowd, estimated to be in the thousands, welcomed his announcement that he would not relent until Mr Sharif resigned. Mr Khan has spurned all offers of political negotiations after Mr Sharif's government abortively attempted to clear the protests by imposing draconian laws against public assembly.

Mr Khan plans to travel next to the eastern city of Lahore on September 28th, his hometown and, crucially, Mr Sharif's political base. The Lahore rally is also expected to attract tens of thousands. Mr Khan's party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), is the second-largest political force in the wealthiest and most populous Punjab province, of which Lahore is the capital. There is lingering resentment against the government after police there killed 14 supporters of Mr Qadri's at a protest in Lahore in June.

Country Report Pakistan

Government braces itself for more protests
More of the same
Army neutrality?
Protests are exacting a toll
People power?

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