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Pakistan's Military Refutes PM's Denial On Asking Army To Mediate Crisis

Pakistani supporters of Canada-based preacher Tahir-ul Qadri shout anti-government slogans during a protest in front of the Parliament in Islamabad on August 27, 2014.

Pakistan's military has contradicted a statement from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif -- who denies asking the army to mediate in the country's political crisis.

Pakistan's military press office says "the government" on August 28 asked Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff, General Raheel Sharif, to "play a facilitative role for the resolution of the current impasse" during a "meeting at Prime Minister House."

The prime minister told parliament on August 29 that reports saying his government asked the army to mediate in the standoff were false.

Sharif told lawmakers that neither he nor the army had "sought any role in the mediation."

Tahir-ul Qadri, a populist cleric, and cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan have led separate antigovernment protests in Islamabad since August 15 to demand the prime minister's resignation.

ON August 28, Qadri and Khan said they had agreed to negotiate with the army.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters.