Supporters of Pakistan's cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan celebrate near parliament in Islamabad, Pakistan, Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)
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Thousands of followers of cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan and populist cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri are demonstrating outside the parliament building, trying to force Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from office.Khan and Qadri say last year's general election that swept Sharif to power by a landslide was rigged and are demanding his resignation.A cross-party delegation met members of Qadri's team on Wednesday evening to try to resolve the standoff, but Khan struck a defiant note, insisting Sharif must go before he would negotiate.The two protest movements are not formally allied and have different goals, beyond toppling the government.Last year's election, rated free and credible by international observers, was an important landmark for Pakistani democracy -- the first time one democratically elected government had completed its term and handed over power to another.Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-N party has accused Khan and Qadri of trying to derail democracy.
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