Deposed Pakistani PM begins two days of rallies
RAWALPINDI, Pakistan — Pakistan’s deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif kicked off two days of rallies on Wednesday aimed at demonstrating his political strength by making stops from the capital, Islamabad, to his hometown of Lahore, ignoring security threats and drawing thousands of supporters.
Sharif planned to spend at least two nights along the Grand Trunk Road, the main road from Islamabad to Lahore, in his first public appearances since July 28, when the country’s Supreme Court disqualified him from office for concealing assets.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who replaced Sharif a few days later, hugged the three-time premier as he boarded a vehicle along with his supporters. Abbasi is a lawmaker from Sharif’s ruling Pakistan Muslim League party. Sharif’s supporters showered rose petals on his vehicle and waved national and party flags, chanting: “My Lion, your lion, Nawaz Sharif, Nawaz Sharif’’ — the lion was Sharif’s election symbol when he won the 2013 vote.