Pakistan’s Supreme Court has ordered the arrest of PM Raja Pervez Ashraf and 15 others over corruption allegations, raising fears of a political crisis just months ahead of an election.
Mr Ashraf denies accepting bribes when approving power generation projects as minister for water and power in 2010. Analysts say that the move is unlikely to lead to his immediate removal. It comes as a populist cleric led thousands of protesters in Islamabad, demanding the government resign.
Television images showed demonstrators, led by Tahirul Qadri, celebrating and triumphantly applauding as news broke of the court’s order.
Mr Ashraf’s predecessor, Yousuf Raza Gilani, was forced out as prime minister last June after the Supreme Court convicted him of contempt for failing to pursue a corruption case against the president.