2 dead, 450 injured in Pakistan protests, Imran Khan vows to fight till death

Aug 31 2014, 16:28 IST
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Imran Khan(C), the Chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) political party, addresses supporters during the Revolution March in Islamabad. (Reuters)Imran Khan Imran Khan(C), the Chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) political party, addresses supporters during the Revolution March in Islamabad. (Reuters)Imran Khan
Summary"I request all the nation, civil servants, bureaucrats and police to rebel against this illegal government," Imran Khan told his supporters.

Mounting pressure on embattled Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, opposition leader Imran Khan today vowed to fight till death and asked Pakistanis to rebel against the illegal regime after two persons were killed and about 450 others injured in police crackdown on protesters.

"I request all the nation, civil servants, bureaucrats and police to rebel against this illegal government," Khan told his supporters.

The cricketer-turned-politician asked officials to ignore all illegal orders from the PMN-L party-led government.

"I am prepared to die fighting for the freedom for my people," he said, adding, "allah ya azaadi ya maut (either freedom or death)".

His comments came hours after police baton-charged hundreds of anti-government protesters led by Khan and Canada-based fiery cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri who marched towards Sharif's residence in the high-security 'Red Zone' here demanding his resignation.

The clashes started after Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Khan and Pakistan Awami Tehrik (PAT) chief Qadri ordered their supporters to shift the protest venue in the front of the residence of Prime Minister Sharif to force him to quit.

Police fired tear gas shells and rubber bullets to disperse the protesters outside the prime minister's official residence and the adjacent parliament building.

Hundreds of protesters entered the lawn of parliament but they were pushed back at the main entrance of the building where army was deployed.

About 450 injured were brought to Polyclinic and Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, the two premier state-run hospitals, a government official said.

A police official said over 70 policemen and five Frontier Constabulary personnel were injured in clashes with protesters armed with sticks, catapults and stones.

Qadri' PAT in is twitter account claimed that seven of its supporters were killed in police action, but figures could not be verified officially.

Khan said yesterday government could use force against protesters as they were not prepared for it.

"We are ready now. Government cannot function," he said, adding, "We will remain here until we take resignations from Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif," he said.

He said his party would file a FIR against Sharif and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Khan for killing people.

Khan defended the protests saying that they were marching peacefully.

"Nawaz Sharif is a fascist and does not believe in democracy...In democracy, peaceful protest is our right," he said, adding, "Those who say we shouldn't have done this do not know the difference between freedom and slavery".

So far the protesters

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