Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Protest in Pakistan the Scene Bears Watching by the United States

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Protest in Pakistan the Scene Bears Watching by the United States

Article excerpt

Violent protests in Pakistan led by a former sports star and a senior Muslim cleric are putting democratic, civilian rule in that country at growing risk. The demonstrations have been concentrated in the capital, Islamabad, and may have been condoned by the military.

Orderly rule in Pakistan has been a dicey business since independence in 1947. Last year's election brought back to power previous Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. He has been a controversial leader and his reputation has not been free of charges of corruption. Nonetheless, the balloting this time seemed to be relatively straight. He won by a substantial 16 percent margin, and his election was unprecedented since it constituted Pakistan's replacement of one civilian government with another.

Former cricket star Imran Khan lost the election and found a Muslim religious leader, Tahir ul-Qadri, to join his supporters in carrying out a campaign of demonstrations that have involved tens of thousands and resulted in several deaths and 400 injured over the weekend. …

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