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Pakistan has had a politically tumultuous few days. After the government said that opposition leader Imran Khan would not be allowed to stage a planned march on Islamabad this week, Khan and his supporters defied the order and entered the capital on Wednesday. Khan said he would stay until the government agreed to early elections.

Islamabad used heavy-handed tactics to stop protestors, including the use of tear gas. Then, on Thursday, Khan changed course and announced he would return to Islamabad in six days if the government didn't announce early polls.

What is driving this crisis, and what may Khan's intentions be? What may be his and the government's next moves, and what options do they have? How does the Pakistani military play into all this? These questions and more are discussed in the latest episode of The AfPak File.

Joining the discussion are Kathy Gannon, Associated Press news director for Pakistan and Afghanistan; Daud Khattak, managing editor of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's Mashaal Radio; and Michael Kugelman, senior associate for South Asia at the Wilson Center.

Muhammad Tahir, Washington DC media manager for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, moderates the discussion.

This podcast originally appeared on RFE/RL.

Moderator

Muhammad Tahir

Media Manager, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Asia Program

The Asia Program promotes policy debate and intellectual discussions on U.S. interests in the Asia-Pacific as well as political, economic, security, and social issues relating to the world’s most populous and economically dynamic region.   Read more