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Pakistan braces for anti-government protests

Pakistan,Indo-Pak/Pakistan,Politics, Mon, 30 Apr 2012 IANS

Islamabad, April 30 (IANS) The opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party Monday announced a nationwide stir against the government of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani after he refused to quit following his conviction in a contempt of court case.


The Supreme Court Thursday found Prime Minister Gilani guilty of contempt of court and gave him a symbolic sentence of less than a minute for failing to reopen the corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari despite several court orders.


All graft cases against Zardari and thousands of others had been withdrawn under an amnesty law enacted in 2007 by then Pakistani president Pervez Musaharraf.


The court annulled the law in 2009 and ordered reopening of the cases. Gilani refused to reopen the cases against Zardari, saying he enjoys immunity as head of state.


PML-N leader and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif announced the launch of an anti-government movement this week across the country to force the prime minister to resign.


He said the opposition lawmakers will stage protest in parliament and will take out procession to mount pressure on the prime minister to quit.


"I want to ask the prime minister to accept the Supreme Court's order, quit as prime minister or face the protest movement," Xinhua quoted Nawaz Sharif as saying at a press conference in Islamabad.


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