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Pakistani MPs Reject Protest Demands Ahead Of Sharif Speech

Pakistani opposition politician Imran Khan attends a protest in front of Parliament in Islamabad on August 20, 2014.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was due to speak to the parliament in Islamabad on August 21 about the country’s political crisis as thousands of protesters continued to demonstrate near the legislature and call for his resignation.

Sharif managed to enter the parliament building on August 21 despite the presence of two separate groups of protesters outside, led by cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan and populist cleric Tahir ul-Qadri.

Ahead of Sharif’s speech, the lower chamber of parliament unanimously approved a resolution saying that Sharif’s resignation and the dissolution of parliament on the basis of street protests would be unconstitutional.

Government officials on August 21 said they would conduct a second round of talks with representatives of Khan and Qadri after Sharif’s speech.

Khan had warned that he and his followers would storm Sharif’s office if the prime minister did not resign by August 20.

But Khan backed away from the threat after Pakistan’s military warned against such a move.

With reporting by AP, Reuters, and AFP