ISLAMABAD, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) -- Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday told parliament that protests in the capital Islamabad have badly affected economic activities in the country but his government would not allow anyone to derail the system.
Sharif's remarks came at a time when two opposition leaders have gathered thousands of their supporters to press for his resignation.
Cricketer-turned politician, Imran Khan, chief of the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf party or PTI, claimed that last year's elections in which Sharif won were rigged, while Tahir ul Qadri, a religious leader, has joined his activists in the sit-in in Islamabad over the past two weeks and said he wants to bring out a revolution.
Sharif has rejected calls for resignation and said most of the parties in parliament supported his government.
"No one will be allowed to derail the system," Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif told the National Assembly, or the Lower House.
"We will fight against all obstacles in the way of democracy," the prime minister said in his rare speech in the House aired live by the state television.
The protest has disrupted normal life in the capital city and the country's top court on Wednesday ordered the authorities to clear the roads from the protesters by Thursday.
The two protesting parties have previously refused to vacate the roads and their leaders said the protests will continue unless Nawaz Sharif quits.
The government and the PTI have also ended a deadlock in their talks and both sides will hold another round later on Wednesday. Negotiators from the two sides met in Islamabad late Tuesday; however, there had been no progress.
The dialogue does not make progress over the resignation call from the opposition party. The government has already accepted the other main demand for investigation into the alleged vote fraud.
The prime minister has approached the Supreme Court to form a three-judicial commission to carry out a thorough probe into the allegations.
A cabinet minister, who is part of the government negotiation team, informed the National Assembly that dialogue is the only way to overcome the current political crisis.
Railways Minister Saad Rafiq said the government has held various rounds of talks besides telephone conversations with both the parities to resolve the issues.
He said the government has accepted almost all demands of the PTI for electoral reforms and government has expressed readiness to address the demand from Tahir ul Qadri.