Islamabad: Kahn plans protest march into government zone

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Tens of thousands of anti-government protesters in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad want to march into the city’s “red zone.”

The heavily protected area is home to key government ministries and Western embassies and out of bounds to demonstraters.

The protesters accuse Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of coming to power in an election they consider tainted by massive fraud despite its validation by international observers.

Leading the planned march into the red zone are opposition leader Imran Khan, who called on protesters to engage in “civil obedience” and stop paying taxes and utility bills, and cleric Tahir ul-Qadri, who controls a network of Islamic schools and charities.

“We will try our best to make our protest peaceful, but if they [government] become violent then we will react as we have to save the country and we have to sacrifice to save the country,” said Tehreek-Einsaf who was planning on joining the protest.

“We will obey Khan’s order, whatever he says, we will do it as this is the path of revolution,” he added.

Police say there are 55,000 people at the protests, including many women and children.

It’s not yet known whether the government will allow Khan to proceed into the “red zone.”