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Former PM Khan Calls On Pakistani Supporters To March On Islamabad


Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan (file photo)

Former Prime Minister Imran Khan, who was ousted from power in Pakistan last month, has called for his supporters to march on Islamabad on May 25 to protest against the country’s new government.

“We will not accept this government,” Khan told a news conference in the northwestern city of Peshawar on May 22.

“We will sit in, in Islamabad, until they dissolve the assemblies and announce a date for elections that are transparent and without any foreign interference,” he said.

In a tweet, the 69-year-old Khan called on “our entire nation to come to Islamabad” for the march, which he said he will lead.

Khan, who held power for three years, was ousted following a no-confidence vote in parliament on April 10. Opposition politician Shehbaz Sharif was elected by lawmakers to replace Khan.

Khan has demanded new elections, saying the new government was imposed under a U.S. conspiracy, a charge Washington has denied and which the new government in Pakistan says is a lie.

Khan's call for a rally came following a session of leaders from his Pakistan Tehrik-e Insaf (PTI) party in Peshawar.

Khan urged the authorities not to oppose the march. Rallies in his support have often drawn thousands of people.

The country’s interior minister, Rana Sanaullah, warned Khan's backers not to cause trouble during the march.

Pakistan is currently working to negotiate the remainder of a suspended $6 billion loan program with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), money needed to help shore up the country’s fading foreign-exchange reserves.

Based on reporting by AP and Bloomberg

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