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U.S. Urges Restraint In Pakistani Protests

The United States has called for restraint in the Pakistani political crisis and urged protesters not to resort to violence in its antigovernment demonstrations.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki (eds: a woman) said Washington calls on "all sides to refrain from violence...and respect the rule of law."

She said people have a right to demonstrate peacefully but that they cannot impose "extraconstitutional change to the political system" through violence.

Led by opposition leaders Imran Khan and populist cleric Tahir ul-Qadri, protesters have been camped out in the capital, Islamabad, since August 15 demanding that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif resign.

They accuse him of rigging the 2013 parliamentary elections that brought him to power.

Sharif has refused to resign.

Three people were killed overnight on August 30-31 when protesters tried to storm Sharif's house.

Based on the U.S. State Department and reporting by Reuters