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Pakistani Authorities Step Up Security In Islamabad As Deadline Looms For Government To Quit

Hundreds of thousands of Pakistani opposition parties attend an anti-government march in Islamabad on November 1.

Hundreds of thousands of opposition supporters remain in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad, following a call for Prime Minister Imran Khan's resignation over economic hardships.

On November 2, authorities deployed riot police and set up barriers to deny the Islamist protesters access to government buildings.

The moves come after Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the leader of the Islamist Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam party, told the rally on November 1 that he was giving a two-day deadline for the government to resign.

"Don't test our patience," Rehman said, without saying what would happen after the expiration of the deadline in the evening of November 3.

In a veiled reference to Pakistan’s army, he called on the country's "establishment" not to support Khan's government.

Rehman was joined by leaders of Pakistan's main political parties in anti-government speeches, as Khan remained defiant, accusing his opponents of using religion against his government.

The opposition claims the prime minister is incompetent and that his government was illegitimately installed by Pakistan’s military after a rigged general election in 2018.

The army denies meddling in politics.

Based on reporting by AP,, Reuters, and Dawn