Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, weakened by weeks of demonstrations calling for him to resign, threatened on Wednesday to clear a protest camp established more than a month ago outside government offices in Islamabad.
Protesters led by Imran Khan, a former cricket star, and Tahir ul-Qadri, a firebrand cleric, have been locked in a bitter stand-off with the government since mid-August, refusing to leave their camp until Sharif steps down.
The protest leaders accuse Sharif of rigging last year's election which brought him back to power in a landslide.
"Up until now, we have tolerated all this and acted with decency and patience," Sharif said in televised remarks.