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Pakistan protests spills into the Red Zone: Can embassies be secure?

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PK3
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The situation in Islamabad, Pakistan has become grave as two political parties have virtually taken over the Red Zone where the Parliament House and the Diplomatic Enclave are present.

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The situation in Islamabad, Pakistan has become grave as two political parties have virtually taken over the Red Zone where the Parliament House and the Diplomatic Enclave are present.

Protests started in Pakistan on August 14, 2014 with thousands demanding resignation of Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif.

Protestors were allowed to assembled close to the Red Zone. Today both parties crossed the line into the secured Red Zone threatening embassies and foreign missions as well as the parliament and other government institutions, including the home of the prime minister.

The leader of the party, Tehrik-i-Insaaf Imran Khan has said he will take over Parliament by force if Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif will not resign by tomorrow evening.

The Prime Ministr’s office already statedit will not resign. Pakistan’s army has asked the government and political parties to exercise restrain.

The government has been negotiating indirectly with Imran Khan and members of his Tahreek-e-Insaf party, and the Pakistan National Movement led by firebrand Pakistani-Canadian cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri.

Khan, who has been trying to force Sharif’s resignation and fresh elections, claimed that the march to the Red Zone would be “the march to end all marches,” but had not given the final go-ahead to his thousands of followers to try and breach the area’s heavily fortified barriers. Meanwhile, pictures of Qadri and his followers getting ready to march into the zone were shown on live TV.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, who is leading the government’s effort to secure the Red Zone with over 20,000 police and paramilitary personnel, warned that the “Red Zone is a red line which cannot be breached if Pakistan is to be taken like a serious power on the world stage.”

Officials promised security for diplomats will be maintained- the question remains if this can really be done.

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About the author

editor

Editor in chief is Linda Hohnholz.