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Thousands Of Supporters Of Firebrand Pakistani Cleric Head To Capital For Protest

Maulana Fazlur Rehman gestures during a press conference in Islamabad on October 22.

KARACHI -- Supporters of firebrand cleric Maulana Fazlur Rehman have set out for Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad, to hold an anti-government march.

The leader of the ultra-religious political party Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) told supporters on October 27 as they set out that the “illegitimate” government of Prime Minister Imran Kahn needed to be removed.

He added that the action was also a show of support for Indian-administered Kashmir, which both countries claim as their own.

JUI claims that Khan's government came to power in a fraudulent manner and should therefore be abolished.

Government officials have called the charge baseless.

Some other parties said they backed the protest, including the main opposition Pakistan Muslim League of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the Pakistan Peoples' Party of former President Asif Zaradri.

Muslim-majority Pakistan and Hindu-led India have fought three wars since gaining independence from Britain in 1947, two of which were over control of Kashmir.

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