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Pakistani Government, Protesters Start Talks


Pakistani supporters of opposition politician Imran Khan gather during an antigovernment protest in front of parliament in Islamabad on August 20.

Pakistani supporters of opposition politician Imran Khan gather during an antigovernment protest in front of parliament in Islamabad on August 20.

Pakistani government ministers and opposition politicians have met with representatives of the protesters who are surrounding administration buildings in the capital, Islamabad.

Ministers and opposition politicians met late August 20 with representatives from cleric Tahir ul-Qadri's camp, one of two groups that have gathered thousands of protesters in an attempt to force Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to resign.

There were no details about the talks with Qadri's envoys except that both sides agreed to continue the talks later.

Former cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, who is leading a separate group of protesters told his supporters he would not participate in any talks "until Nawaz Sharif resigns."

Protesters from the two groups have been on the streets of Islamabad for five days to call for Sharif’s resignation.

Protesters have occupied areas in the high-security "red zone," but both Qadri and Khan called on them not to storm the parliament building.

Based on reporting by AP and dpa
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