M A I N   N E W S

Embattled Sharif reaffirms support to ‘Kashmir cause’
Storm at home as Imran, Qadri begin separate march to Islamabad

Militants attack Quetta airbase

  • Militants late on Thursday tried to storm the heavily-guarded Samangi airbase and airport at Quetta in Balochistan province
  • The attack was thwarted by security forces, who killed one of the attackers
  • Firing was still going on and hand grenades were hurled towards the airbase and airport, reports last said

From Lahore to Islamabad

  • The two anti-government groups set off on a 370-km journey from Lahore to Islamabad
  • A last-minute court verdict allowed the protesters to go ahead with the rally 
  • They are pressing for the ouster of PM Nawaz Sharif’s (pic) government, calling it corrupt

New Delhi/Islamabad, August 14 
On Pakistan’s Independence Day, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif raked up Kashmir, amid a rising storm back home: Thousands of protesters, spearheaded by two powerful leaders, began a march towards the Capital in an attempt to topple the government.

Addressing the Independence Day function, Sharif described Kashmir as a “main source of tension” in bilateral ties with India.

Sharif’s remarks came on a day when two anti-government groups, led by cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan and Canada-based cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri, set off on a 370-km march from Lahore to Islamabad, demanding ouster of the Sharif government.

As the proposed rallies deepened fears of political instability, Islamabad has turned into a fortress with the Army guarding key installations.

In New Delhi, Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit, too, harped on Kashmir, saying his country extends "full diplomatic and moral support" to "legitimate struggle" of people of Jammu and Kashmir.

"I would like to reaffirm Pakistan's full diplomatic and moral support to the people of Jammu and Kashmir in their legitimate struggle which is enshrined in the UN Charter and universal declaration of human rights,” he said. The two countries were engaged in a war of words yesterday over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proxy war comment.

Ceasefire violations along the LoC by Pakistani troops are on the upswing in the past few weeks.

Earlier, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Khan initiated his 'Azadi March' from Zaman Park, Lahore, while Qadri launched his 'Inqelab March' (revolution march) from the Model Town area.

“Join this march not for me but for the sake of your children and if you want real independence in Pakistan...to get freedom one has to fight. We will lay the foundation of new Pakistan after reaching Islamabad,” he said. — Agencies




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