Pakistan's supreme court ordered the arrest of Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf today over corruption claims.
It plunged the country further into political turmoil as tens of thousands of protesters blocked the capital Islamabad's streets and demanded the government resign.
Mr Ashraf is fighting allegations that he was paid for overseeing the introduction of "rental power" projects that produced very little energy.
He is also accused of buying property in London with corruptly acquired cash.
The street protests have been led by cleric Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, who is believed to be backed by the military.
He urged around 25,000 people to camp out for another day after police fired tear gas and the government ignored his ultimatum to disband parliament.
Mr Qadri addressed demonstrators waving flags and chanting near parliament, blaming a corrupt government for the country's ills.
He led his followers into the capital overnight at the climax of a 38-hour journey through towns and villages from Lahore.
"I want to ask you to stay until tomorrow. I'm going to stay," Mr Qadri declared, speaking from inside a bullet-proof box.
Police had earlier clashed with stone-throwers and stick-wielding protesters, shooting into the air and firing tear gas.
Eight officers were hurt.
Demonstrators smashed windows as they reached the edge of the heavily fortified "red zone," which houses parliament and Western embassies.
The rally's organisers accused police of opening fire, of attempting to arrest Mr Qadri and trying to provoke violence.
But Interior Minister Rehman Malik claimed the protesters had been carrying weapons and had shot at police.
Military helicopters circled overhead as the protesters gathered near parliament, which is due to be dissolved in March before elections in May.
But Mr Qadri is calling for a caretaker government set up in consultation with the military and judiciary to enact reforms so that "honest people" have a chance of being elected in May.
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