ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan’s highly effective navy stated it supported the nation’s elected authorities and the structure, as tens of 1000’s of opposition protesters gathered within the capital demanding that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s year-old authorities quits by Sunday.
Supporters of spiritual and political get together Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazal (JUI-F) wave flags and chant slogans throughout what individuals name Azadi March (Freedom March) to protest the federal government of Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad, Pakistan November 1, 2019. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro
“We consider within the legislation and the structure and our help is with the democratically elected authorities, not with any get together,” navy spokesman Main Normal Asif Ghafoor stated in feedback to a tv information channel late on Friday.
Earlier on Friday, the opposition had demanded that cricket star-turned-politician Khan and his administration resign inside two days, elevating the stakes in a protest marketing campaign that the federal government has denounced as a menace to democracy.
The opposition says Khan’s authorities is illegitimate and is being propped up by the navy, which has dominated Pakistan for about half of its historical past and units safety and international coverage.
The navy denies meddling in politics and Khan has dismissed the calls to step down.
The chief of the protest, non secular get together chief Fazl-ur-Rehman, informed a rally of tens of 1000’s of supporters that he didn’t desire a “collision with establishments”, a thinly veiled reference to the navy, and referred to as on them to be neutral.
Ghafoor stated Rehman ought to know the navy was neutral and it shouldn’t be dragged into politics.
Rehman, chief of the conservative Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl get together, is a veteran politician who can mobilize important help in non secular faculties throughout the nation.
He was joined on the Friday rally, which police estimated was attended by 35,000 folks, by leaders of the 2 major opposition events.
Protesters had been camped out on the rally web site on Saturday, cooking meals and resting.
Rehman had earlier warned of chaos if the federal government didn’t step down, however on Friday he informed the group they’d determine what motion to take if their two-day sit-in on the rally web site failed.
Safety is tight in Islamabad with the federal government and diplomatic sector – just some kilometres from the rally – sealed off, with transport containers used to dam roads.
Military chief Normal Qamar Javed Bajwa on Friday urged the federal government to deal with the protest peacefully.
The federal government, struggling to get the economic system on monitor, has denounced the protests as a menace to the structure and to democracy and has stated it is not going to be allowed to paralyze the capital.
Reporting by Syed Raza Hassan; Writing by Robert Birsel; Modifying by Simon Cameron-Moore