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Imran Khan's Party Resigns From Parliament In Protest

A Pakistani opposition supporter listens to a speech by Imran Khan on the seventh day of a mass antigovernment protest in Islamabad on August 21.

The Pakistani opposition party of cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan has resigned from parliament as Khan steps up his bid to drive Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from power over alleged election fraud.

The resignation of lawmakers from Khan's Tehrik-i-Insaaf party comes a day after the legislature rejected his calls for Sharif's resignation as unconstitutional, despite the presence of thousands of protesters just outside.

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

Washington says it is carefully monitoring the demonstrations in Islamabad.

In an August 21 statement, the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad urged all sides to refrain from violence and also said Washington is not involved in discussions between the parties.

With reporting by Reuters and AP