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PTI leads mass protests in Pakistan

Ousted PM Imran Khan says Pakistan is entering a new period of 'freedom struggle' with the people protecting 'sovereignty and democracy' from a 'foreign conspiracy of regime change'

Massive demonstrations rocked several Pakistani cities, including the country’s capital of Islamabad, in the evening of 10 April, with thousands led by activists and supporters of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) hitting the streets to express their support to the deposed Prime Minister Imran Khan. He was ousted by the country’s parliament, National Assembly, in a successful no-confidence vote on 9 April. Khan blasted the vote as a foreign-backed regime change operation.

“Never have such crowds come out so spontaneously and in such numbers in our history, rejecting the imported govt led by crooks,” Khan said on Twitter, sharing footage of the protests.

Khan’s PTI had called upon its members and supporters to take to the streets across the country.

Earlier in the day, Khan reiterated his allegations against the US, blaming Washington for his ouster and branding it a “regime change” operation aimed at bringing “into power a coterie of pliable crooks all out on bail.”

The ousted prime minister said the country was entering a new period of “freedom struggle” with the Pakistani people protecting “sovereignty and democracy” from a “foreign conspiracy of regime change”.

Previously, the politician claimed to have a recording obtained from the Pakistani ambassador in Washington proving the allegations. The US had firmly rejected such allegations, denying any involvement into the Pakistani events.

Pakistan’s National Assembly passed a vote of no-confidence against Khan with 176 lawmakers out of 342 voting for the move to end his office term early. The PTI effectively lost its parliamentary majority back in March, after seven from its coalition party defected and joined the ranks of the opposition. Pakistan’s parliament is set to hold a vote to pick a new PM today.

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