Pakistani police continued their crackdown on protesters today as Nawaz Sharif, a former PM turned opposition leader, accused the government of conspiring to kill him. Political activists and the country's lawyers defied a ban on protests, facing beatings and arrests in demonstrations from Karachi to Lahore. Sharif said he had information about "threats to my life" from "certain top-most people in the government," a claim the president's office called "outlandish."
Sharif fell out with President Asif Ali Zardari after the latter failed to fulfill a campaign pledge to reinstate some 60 judges sacked by Pervez Musharraf during the 2007 state of emergency. Sharif—himself ousted from office by a court decision—now calls the civilian government an "elected dictatorship" and is demanding "the rule of law back in to this country." Demonstrators set out on a "long march" today from the south of Pakistan that will arrive in Islamabad on Monday.