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By Sheree Sardar and Syed Raza Hassan ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chaired a joint session of parliament on Tuesday as a deepening crisis over mass protests demanding his resignation prompted fears of an army intervention. Sharif had called the session and he had been expected to address it on Tuesday but as members of parliament streamed into the assembly, his office clarified that the proceedings would last all week. Pakistan has been in turmoil since mid-August when tens of thousands of protesters led by Imran Khan, a former hero cricket player, and outspoken cleric Tahir ul-Qadri gathered in the capital Islamabad refusing to leave unless Sharif resigns.
By Marafaele Mohloboli MASERU (Reuters) - Lesotho's prime minister has asked southern African states to send peacekeepers into his mountain kingdom to restore order after an apparent coup over the weekend, his aide said on Monday. Thomas Thabane fled to South Africa, whose territory surrounds Lesotho, early on Saturday, hours before the army surrounded his residence and overran police stations in the capital, Maseru, in what the prime minister called a coup. Lesotho's army said it had not tried to oust Thabane but had moved against police suspected of planning to arm a political faction. The unrest stems from a power struggle between Thabane, who is supported by the police, and Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing, who has the loyalty of the army, diplomats said.