Pakistan protesters vow 'decisive day'

Aug 28, 2014, 5:14 AM EDT
Imran Khan, center, along with cleric Tahir ul-Qadri are leading movements to topple Pakistan's prime minister.
AFP/Getty Images

Pakistan slipped deeper into crisis on Thursday after talks between the government and the opposition failed and protesters prepared for what their leaders declared would be a "deciding day" in their bid to bring down the prime minister. Reuters writes:

Pakistan has been gripped by mass protests for two weeks, with thousands of demonstrators led by cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan and firebrand cleric Tahir ul-Qadri camped outside parliament in a country prone to military coups.

In a bid to resolve the standoff, government representatives have held sporadic talks with protest leaders, but the latest round of negotiations ended inconclusively. Qadri, who has a huge following and runs a network of Islamic schools and hospitals, told his supporters to prepare for a decisive day in their campaign.

"Thursday will be Revolution Day," he told a roaring crowd. "We will not go forward from tomorrow as it will be the deciding day." Khan has also promised an important statement for Thursday.

Both Qadri and Khan have made many dramatic statements about their intentions since the start of the protests, most of which have not materialized. Several ultimatums have passed without action and Sharif has rejected their call for his resignation.

But the atmosphere in Islamabad, the Pakistani capital, was nervous on Thursday, with security visibly beefed up in the center of the city.