Category: Economy / January 15, 2013 4:55 PM EST
Pakistan's Supreme Court ordered the arrest of Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf in connection with a corruption case linked to power projects, television channels reported on Tuesday (January 15), plunging the country into fresh political turmoil.
The move came as a populist cleric, who is believed to be backed by the military, demanded the resignation of the government in protests attended by thousands of followers in the heart of the capital Islamabad.
Ashraf had appeared before the Supreme Court in August 2012 after he was ordered to re-open corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday gave authorities 24 hours to arrest the prime minister and 16 others.
Pakistan's stock exchange fell by nearly three percent after news of the court order, highlighting anxiety over political uncertainty.