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Sharif Cancels Speech To Parliament On Pakistan's Crisis

  • RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal

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.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif canceled a speech to parliament on August 21 after lawmakers unanimously approved a resolution saying it would be unconstitutional for street protests to force his resignation or the dissolution of the legislature.

Sharif attended the August 21 parliamentary session as thousands of protesters outside the building continued to call for his resignation.

There was no official statement from Sharif or his office about why his speech was canceled.

Meanwhile, opposition politician Imran Khan said his representatives would not participate in a second round of talks with government officials later in the day.

Lawmakers from Khan’s party did not attend the August 21 parliamentary session.

Khan and populist Islamic cleric Tahir ul-Qadri have been leading separate, simultaneous protests calling for Sharif’s resignation.

The U.S. Embassy in Islabamad said in an August 21 statement that "all parties should work together to resolve differences through peaceful dialogue."

With reporting from AFP, AP, and Reuters

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