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Pakistan begins talks to end protest crisis

Pakistan riot policemen arrive at the site where supporters of Canada-based preacher Tahir-ul-Qadri and opposition politician Imran Khan are gathered in protest, in Islamabad on August 20, 2014Pakistani ministers and opposition politicians met anti-government protesters on Wednesday, but talks ended for the day with the sides appearing no closer to resolving a week-long political crisis that has rattled the restive, nuclear-armed nation. Thousands of followers of cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan and populist cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri have been demonstrating outside the parliament building in Islamabad, trying to force Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from office. Khan and Qadri say last year’s general election that swept Sharif to power by a landslide was rigged and are demanding his resignation. Late Wednesday Khan’s team met with government negotiators in Islamabad to discuss his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party’s demands.

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