Pakistan's opposition parties distanced themselves on August 18 from a call by politician Imran Khan for mass civil disobedience to unseat the government.
The moves left Khan looking increasingly isolated as mass support for his call failed to materialize.
Meanwhile, talks began in Islamabad on August 18 aimed at ending a destabilizing five-day political standoff amid protests in Islamabad.
Khan, who heads the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf party, led thousands of supporters in a march from Lahore to Islamabad to demand the government resign.
On August 17, Khan call on people to stop paying utility bills and taxes under the current government -- accusing Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of plundering the national wealth to enrich his business empire.
Populist cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri also has organized mass protests in Islamabad, demanding Sharif's arrest over what he alleges was the murder of his supporters.