Opponents using human shields: Nawaz

He also charged Khan and Qadri of using ‘women and children’ as human shields in attacks on state buildings. However, he asserted that a few hundred people who are demonstrating in the Pakistani capital to oust his government would never succeed in their ‘sinister designs’.

Supporters of Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf and Qadri’s Pakistan Awami Tehrik have camped on the streets of Islamabad with their supporters for five weeks, demanding the prime minister step down.

Sharif told the Pakistani National Assembly the protesters have damaged the image of Pakistan in
the world and also caused huge economic losses to the country. The joint session of the parliament also adopted a resolution, condemning the anti-government protests and vowed to protect
parliament and democracy.

Parliament was specifically summoned to discuss the sit-in that has disrupted life in the country.

Sharif rejected calls for his resignation and said he would never surrender to any pressure or blackmail. He told lawmakers people have rejected elements who are spreading anarchy in the country. The prime minister said the protests have devalued the Pakistani currency, exports have decreased and foreign heads of government have postponed visits. He said the country has suffered losses of around Pakistani Rs.600 billion (over $5.8 billion) because of the stand-off.

He dismissed allegations of fraud in the last year’s parliamentary elections and stated the elections were the most transparent in the country’s history.

‘No evidence regarding rigging in the polls could so far be presented by the leaders of sit-ins,’ said the prime minister, adding that he has already requested the country’s top court to investigate the alleged rigging in the elections. He maintained most of the international observers described the general elections of 11 May, 2013 as free, fair and transparent. Describing parliament’s current role as an historic one, he cited the demonstrators had stormed the parliament, Pakistan TV’s premises, the Supreme Court and other key state buildings. 


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