Is This Pakistan’s Tahrir Square?

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Coup-plagued Pakistan, Arif Rafiq writes at Foreign Policy, "has yet to see a transition of power between two successive democratically elected governments." And with the rise of a massive anti-government protest movement led by the Pakistani cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri -- plus the Supreme Court's order this week to arrest the Pakistani prime minister on corruption charges -- that milestone could once again prove elusive ahead of the country's general elections this spring.

Above, Qadri supporters wave Pakistani flags and chant slogans at a protest rally in Islamabad on Jan. 16 -- the third day of the largest political demonstration seen for years in the capital. Protesters, urged on by Qadri, are calling for the government to relinquish power after the Supreme Court's order for the arrest of Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf.

Qadri supporters take part in a march in Sohawa, about 50 miles from Islamabad, on Jan. 14.
Qadri addresses his supporters behind bulletproof glass during a rally in Islamabad on Jan. 15.
Pakistani policemen stand guard at a rally in the capital on Jan. 15.
A view of the crowd at a rally in Islamabad on Jan. 15.
A Qadri supporter gestures in Islamabad on Jan. 15.
Demonstrators chant slogans in Islamabad on Jan. 15.
Protesters rally in Islamabad on Jan. 16.
Qadri supporters hold signs in the capital on Jan. 16.
Qadri supporters take a moment to rest on Jan. 16.

A protester waves the Pakistani national flag in Islamabad on Jan. 16.

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