Pakistan's army chief stepped into the political struggle between the country's embattled Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the opposition demanding his resignation.
The coup-prone nation has been gripped by mass rallies for more than two weeks and the new intervention suggests a likely transfer of power from the politicians to the army.
In the past, Pakistan has repeatedly swung between military rule and democracy. Sharif himself was toppled in a coup in 1999 during his previous tenure.
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