Pakistani police fire tear gas as protesters head toward PM’s house

Associated Press . Islamabad

Pakistani police fired tear gas at protesters as they tried to march toward the prime minister’s house in Islamabad on Saturday, blanketing the route with clouds of white smoke and scattering demonstrators.
The march’s leaders, cricket-legend-turned politician Imran Khan and anti-government cleric Tahirul Qadri, called for the demonstration to move to the house from separate massive rallies in front of the parliament, where they have been staging a sit-in for days. Some 20,000 police in riot gear are charged with blocking the procession.
In speeches, Imran and Tahirul said that they would remain peaceful and urged security forces to abstain from using force against the protesters.
The two alleged that prime minister Nawaz Sharif won the 2013 election due to massive voter fraud. They demanded that he step down but Sharif refused.
Both Imran and Tahirul Qadri, a dual Pakistani-Canadian citizen with a wide following, also demanded reforms in Pakistan’s electoral system to prevent future voter fraud.
Backed by parliament and many political parties, Sharif said he would not step down.

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