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Pakistan army calls for dialogue as protesters reach parliament

IANS 20 Aug 2014, 12:01:37 PM IST
Islamabad: The Pakistan army Wednesday called for dialogue to resolve the current political crisis in the country as thousands of anti-government protesters forced their way to reach the parliament building demanding resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

The current "situation requires patience, wisdom and sagacity from all stakeholders," Xinhua quoted military spokesperson Major General Asim Bajwa as saying. He called for "meaningful dialogue in larger national and public interest to resolve the prevailing impasse".

The rare statement from the country's powerful army came shortly after the protesters removed all hurdles and reached a highly secured area in the capital city.

Bajwa said that buildings in "Red Zone" are symbol of state and being protected by army, "therefore sanctity of these national symbols must be respected."

The authorities had earlier stopped the protesters from entering the secured zone which houses diplomatic missions and other important buildings including the prime minister's house.

Cricketer-turned politician, Imran Khan, and a religious leader, Tahir-ul-Qadri, led thousands of their supporters to enter the secured area.

Major political parties had earlier called for patience and dialogue to resolve the political deadlock. However all efforts for dialogue have failed so far.