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    Army called in after former Pak PM Imran Khan’s Azadi March enters Islamabad; his six-day deadline for Sharif govt and more

    Army called in after former Pak PM Imran Khan’s Azadi March enters Islamabad; his six-day deadline for Sharif govt and more

    Army called in after former Pak PM Imran Khan’s Azadi March enters Islamabad; his six-day deadline for Sharif govt and more
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    By CNBCTV18.com  IST (Published)

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    Former Pakistan PM Imran Khan, who was ousted from power through a no-trust vote last month, has been asking the government to dissolve provincial assemblies and announce fresh general elections

    The Pakistan government had to call in the army in the early hours on Thursday as Islamabad turned into a battleground after former Pakistan Prime Minister and PTI chief Imran Khan entered the capital with his Azadi March.
    Failing to control the growing unrest, the Shehbaz Sharif government called in the Pakistan army under Article 245 of the Constitution to protect important buildings like the Supreme Court, Parliament House, Prime Minister House, Presidency, Pakistan Secretariat and Diplomatic Enclaves in the Red Zone.
    “The exact number of troops to be deployed will be worked out by the Pakistan Army authorities in consultation with ICT (Islamabad Capital Territory) administration,” the government order posted on Twitter by Pakistan's Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said.
    Khan gives six-day deadline
    Former PM Imran Khan, who was ousted from power through a no-trust vote last month, has been asking the Pakistan government to dissolve provincial assemblies and announce fresh elections.
    Addressing a rally at Jinnah Avenue in Islamabad on Thursday, Khan gave the Sharif government a six-day deadline to announce elections, failing which Khan said he would return to the capital with the “entire nation”.
    Khan also lashed out at the new government for attempting to stop his party’s march by conducting raids and arrests.
    “Government has tried every method to crush our Azadi March, they used teargas on peaceful protest, our homes were raided and privacy of the homes were violated,” Geo News quoted Khan as saying.
    After addressing supporters at Jinnah Avenue, the former Pak PM left for Bani Gala, leaving behind all those who marched hours in anticipation of a major public gathering and sit-in in Islamabad. Khan himself said he reached the capital after 30 hours of travelling from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
    Earlier, Khan had told his supporters he would not vacate D-Chowk till the government announced a fresh date for elections in June.
    Clashes in Pakistan
    Tension gripped the capital city amid clashes between the police and supporters of Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) last night. The police tried to block PTI workers from moving toward Democracy Chowk (D-Chowk). It is a large square in the government district close to the Prime Minister’s office, Supreme Court and the Parliament.
    Several people were injured in the clashes. According to the Islamabad Police spokesperson, multiple rangers, police, and Frontier Constabulary personnel were injured in the clashes.
    Khan claimed five PTI protesters were killed in clashes after the party’s march. According to him, two workers were thrown off Ravi Bridge, while three lost their lives in Karachi. Thousands were arrested, the former cricketer said.
    Rights groups
    Meanwhile, rights activists have blamed the highhandedness of law enforcement agencies in disrupting Khan’s march to Islamabad.
    All political parties and citizens have the right to assemble and protest peacefully, a tweet by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said.
    "The state's overreaction has triggered, more than it has prevented, violence on the streets,” ANI reported quoting the group as saying.
    Supreme Court
    Preventing the present government from arresting Khan, the Pakistan Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed PTI to hold a sit-in protest at the H-9 ground area of Islamabad. The order was issued by the top court after the party said it would conduct a peaceful protest without damaging public and private properties, ANI reported.
     
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