(Bloomberg) -- Pakistan’s government will stop former prime minister Imran Khan’s march to Islamabad for a sit-in on Wednesday to press the administration to quit and call new elections.
Khan plans to create chaos with his protest march and will be stopped, said interior minister Rana Sana Ullah Khan in a briefing in Islamabad.
Khan, 69, ousted in April after a no-confidence vote, has held a series of massive rallies to channel the country’s anger over soaring prices against the government of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
Pakistan’s political turmoil and the government’s reluctance to increase petrol pump prices has led to a delay in a loan from the International Monetary Fund, piling more pressure on the economy. The local currency has dropped to a record low while foreign exchange reserves have fallen to about $10 billion, covering less than two months of imports.
Khan had planned to lead the rally to Islamabad from northwestern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province that his party governs. Similar protests were slated for the commercial capital of Karachi and some other cities.
The government has already banned the gathering of five or more people in the most populous province of Punjab and detained some of Khan’s leaders in overnight raids in Lahore this week.
Large numbers of police and paramilitary troops have been deployed across many areas of capital Islamabad. The so-called red zone, which houses key buildings including the parliament, foreign embassies and the prime minister’s office, has been cordoned off.
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