Mon, 09 Dec 2019

ISLAMABAD -- A radical Pakistani cleric has called off a two-week sit-in on the capital's main highway, but told his supporters to start blocking roads across the country.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the leader of the Islamist Jamiat Ulema-e Islam party, told the anti-government protesters in Islamabad on November 13 to return to their home states to begin 'Plan B.'

"We will leave this place now and will join those who are blocking roads across the country," he told the crowd.

Earlier, Rehman supporters blocked the Quetta-Chaman highway linking the country with Afghanistan, resulting in a long line of trucks.

The protests led by Rehman began last month with an Azadi (Freedom) March from the southern city of Karachi to Islamabad.

Tens of thousands of supporters reached the capital late on October 31, where they have been holding a sit-in demanding Prime Minister Imran Khan's resignation and new general elections.

The opposition claims the prime minister is incompetent and that his government was illegitimately installed by Pakistan's military after a rigged general election in 2018.

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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