Pakistan bans ousted PM Khan's protest march after policeman killed


Pakistan's government on Tuesday banned a planned protest march by ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is demanding fresh elections.

The ban was announced by Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah hours after a policeman was shot and killed during a crackdown on Khan's leaders and supporters, according to a police statement and remarks by Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb at a news briefing.

An official of Khan's party had shot and killed the policeman, the information minister said.

Khan, who was ousted last month in a confidence vote, has been leading rallies across the country, blaming the United States for conspiring to topple his government.

He had urged his supporters to march on Islamabad on Wednesday, warning the government that he wouldn't leave the capital until the parliament was dissolved in order to hold a fresh election

He has vowed to rally tens of thousands of people.

"No one would be allowed to siege the capital and dictate his demands," the interior minister said, adding the Cabinet had approved the ban.

He said Khan and his aides had termed it a bloody march, which could not be allowed following a sit-in that Khan held in 2014 for over four months that paralysed the country.

At the time, Khan had rallied thousands of people to protest alleged rigging of an election in 2013.

Talks are ongoing in Doha between the government and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to resume a $6 billion rescue package agreed in 2019, and are due to conclude on Wednesday.

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