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Pakistan’s Imran Khan Calls for ‘Civil Disobedience Movement’

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(Last Updated On: August 18, 2014)

Pakistan’s opposition leader Imran Khan has declared a “civil disobedience movement” against the Nawaz Sharif-led government, saying the country’s future is bleak under the rule of businessmen, as cleric Tahirul Qadri gave a 48-hour ultimatum to the embattled Prime Minister to resign.

“I have called for the civil disobedience movement for you, not for myself. We will not pay taxes, electricity or gas bills,” Khan told his supporters while giving a speech which he described as the most important of his political career.

“I thought that if this rally heads towards the Prime Minister House then they will clash with the police,” and they (the police) will get killed which “I don’t want”, he said on the second day of his sit-in here.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) chief asserted that under the rule of “these businessmen who only want to make money for themselves, Pakistan’s future is bleak.”

Khan’s remarks were directed at Sharif, one of the country’s wealthiest person and the owner of Ittefaq Group.

“There is only one way now, we will kick off a civil disobedience campaign,” Khan said to raucous applause from thousands of his supporters, who have traveled from Lahore in his ‘Azadi March’ aimed at ousting Prime Minister Sharif who won a landslide victory in the general election last year.

In the polls, Sharif’s PML-N had won 190 out of 342 seats. Khan’s PTI got 34 seats, the third largest bloc in the legislature. Khan claimed that his party should have won many more seats but for the vote-rigging by Sharif’s PML-N.

The PTI chief said he will not be able to hold back his supporters if his demands are not met within two days.

He urged the crowd not to move ahead, because he has promised Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar that he and his supporters will not cross into the “Red Zone” where the Parliament, the President and the Prime Minister’s residences and embassies are located.

“Whoever tried to hold Nawaz accountable, he bought them off. Nawaz bought judges, the election commission last year and he tried buying off generals,” Khan alleged.

The cricketer-turned-politician, at the start of his speech, said, “I assure you that when I finish my speech, and if you do what I ask you to, then no one can stop a ‘naya’ Pakistan from being made.”

Undeterred by inclement weather and low turnouts, supporters of Khan and the Pakistan Awami Tehrik (PAT) headed by Qadri continued their protests for a fourth day running.

 

Earlier, stick wielding PTI protesters hit containers and removed barbed wire blocking their way to the “Red Zone”.

Qadri, who is calling for the arrest of Sharif and his brother Shahbaz for the killing of his 14 supporters in Lahore on June 17, has given a 48-hour ultimatum to the embattled Prime Minister to resign.

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Melbourne rocked by rare 6.0 magnitude earthquake

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(Last Updated On: September 22, 2021)

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said there have been “no reports of serious injuries” so far after a magnitude 6.0 earthquake struck near Melbourne on Wednesday.

The earthquake is reportedly one of the country’s biggest on record, causing damage to buildings in the country’s second largest city and sending tremors throughout neighbouring states.

The quake’s epicentre was near the rural town of Mansfield in the state of Victoria, about 200 km northeast of Melbourne, and was at a depth of 10 km. An aftershock was rated 4.0.

“At this stage we have had no reports of serious injuries or worse, and that is very good news and we hope that that good news will continue,” Morrison, who is currently on a state visit to the United States, told reporters in Washington.

Quakes are relatively unusual in Australia’s populated east due to its position in the middle of the Indo-Australian Tectonic Plate, according to Geoscience Australia. The quake on Wednesday measured higher than the country’s deadliest tremor, a 5.6 in Newcastle in 1989, which resulted in 13 deaths.

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Sudan’s PM says coup plotters were inside and outside military

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(Last Updated On: September 21, 2021)

An attempted coup in Sudan was organised by elements inside and outside the military establishment, leading to the first arrests of those involved in such a plot, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said on Tuesday.

The failed attempt was preceded by attempts to sow insecurity, especially in the east of Sudan, but had failed to undermine the country’s democratic transition, Hamdok said in a televised statement.

“What happened is an orchestrated coup by factions inside and outside the armed forces and this is an extension of the attempts by remnants since the fall of the former regime to abort the civilian democratic transition,” Hamdok said.

“This attempt was preceded by extensive preparations represented by lawless in the cities and the exploitation of the situation in the east of the country, close national roads and ports and block oil production.”

The coup attempt points to the difficult path facing a government that has reoriented Sudan since 2019, winning Western debt relief and taking steps to normalize ties with Israel, while battling a severe economic crisis and facing down challenges from those still loyal to Bashir.

A ruling body known as the Sovereign Council has run Sudan under a fragile power-sharing deal between the military and civilians since the overthrow of Bashir, an Islamist shunned by the West who presided over Sudan for nearly three decades.

Elections are expected in 2024.

It was not the first challenge to the transitional authorities. They say they have foiled or detected previous coup attempts linked to factions loyal to Bashir, who was deposed by the army after months of protests against his rule.

Those involved in the latest effort would be held to account, Hamdok said.

“For the first time, there are people who were arrested during their implementation of the coup,” he said.

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Canada’s Trudeau wins another minority in election, claims ‘clear mandate’

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(Last Updated On: September 21, 2021)

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hung onto power on Monday as his main rival conceded defeat, saying he had won a clear mandate to govern although he fell short of his goal for a majority win.

Trudeau, in power since 2015 and governing with a minority of House of Commons seats since 2019, decided to gamble on an early vote and capitalize on his government’s handling of the pandemic, which included massive spending to support individuals and businesses and a push for high vaccination rates, Reuters reported.

Instead, he will end up where he started after an unexpectedly tight election race characterized by a lackluster campaign and voter anger at an election during a pandemic.

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole, whose party placed second, conceded defeat as results trickled in late into the night. Trudeau spoke to supporters shortly after, pledging to work with other parties for the good of all Canadians.

“You are sending us back to work with a clear mandate to get Canada through this pandemic and to the brighter days ahead,” Trudeau said to a small crowd gathered in a hotel ballroom. “What we’ve seen tonight is that millions of Canadians have chosen a progressive plan.”

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