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Pakistani preacher says talks with government failed

Canada-based preacher Tahir-ul-Qadri addresses Pakistani supporters during an anti-government protest in front of the Parliament in Islamabad August 28, 2014. (AFP Photo/Aamir Qureshi)

ISLAMABAD: A fiery Pakistani preacher who has been leading a mass rally outside parliament demanding Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's resignation says he has "shut the door" on further talks with the government.

Tahir-ul-Qadri emerged from a late night round with government representatives to tell his followers early Thursday that the talks have failed.

The negotiations were meant to find a peaceful solution to a crisis that has raised fears of political instability in Pakistan.

The preacher, a dual Pakistani-Canadian citizen with a wide following, and Pakistan's cricket-star-turned-politician Imran Khan have been leading mass rallies for two weeks in Islamabad.

They want Sharif to resign over allegations of vote fraud in last year's elections.

Sharif Thursday canceled a planned official visit to Turkey to deal with the crisis at home.

 

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