The battle for control in Pakistan

Reuters
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The battle for control in Pakistan.

After weeks of opposition protests calling for Nawaz Sharif to step down -- the prime minister makes a plea to parliament -- distancing himself from offers by the army to intervene in the deadlock over his bid to hold on to power.

(SOUNDBITE) (Urdu) PAKISTANI PRIME MINISTER NAWAZ SHARIF SAYING:

"The army did not ask to play the role of mediator, neither have we requested them to play such a role. I do not know how this was publicized, and why it was publicized. All of you know that those who have gathered the crowds outside are telling falsehoods every day. If they are the ones who have spread this, then you can guess how much truth there is in it. "

Opposition leaders Imran Khan and Tahir ul-Qadri have been calling for the prime minister to step down, saying the election that brought him to power was fraudulent..

So far efforts to end the conflict have repeatedly failed. This leaves Pakistan in a dangerous deadlock wi

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