Saturday 01 October 2016
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Nawaz Sharif Is the Elected Leader of Pakistan: US

Lalit K Jha/Washington

The US has said it opposes any efforts to impose "extra-constitutional change" to the democratic system in Pakistan and supports Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as the elected leader of the country.

Asked whether the US still supports Sharif and what message it has for Imran Khan and other demonstrators, State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf told reporters, "Yes, we still do. He (Sharif) is the elected leader. We've said that repeatedly, and we've been carefully monitoring the demonstrations in Islamabad."

"We've consistently said that the US encourages all the parties to work together to resolve their differences through dialogue also, though, oppose any efforts to impose extra-constitutional change to the democratic system," Harf said.

Harf said the US was monitoring the situation in Pakistan.

"We have said that Nawaz Sharif is the elected leader of Pakistan," Harf said when asked about allegations made by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan that the 2013 election in the country was rigged.

Khan wants the ruling PML-N government's ouster over alleged rigging in last year's polls which his party lost, while Canada-based cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) wants to bring a revolution in the country. Both the leaders are agitating since August 14.

Both the protesting groups are seeking re-elections and the resignation of Prime Minister Sharif.

In its 67-year history, Pakistan has witnessed three coups, including one against Sharif in 1999 by the then army chief General Parvez Musharraf.

The army, which has so far been passive in the confrontation between the government and protesters, has a history of capturing power from democratically elected governments.

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