Former Pak­istan PM Sharif launches de­fi­ant pro­ces­sion

Muscat Daily - - FRONT PAGE -

Sup­port­ers clogged the streets in Is­lam­abad, wav­ing flags and chant­ing slo­gans as Sharif’s con­voy headed to the cap­i­tal of Pun­jab prov­ince

Is­lam­abad, Pak­istan - Pak­istan’s former Prime Min­is­ter Nawaz Sharif led a de­fi­ant pro­ces­sion on Wed­nes­day to his party’s strong­hold in the east­ern city of Lahore as thou­sands ral­lied along the route, weeks af­ter he was de­posed by the Supreme Court.

Sup­port­ers clogged the streets in Is­lam­abad, wav­ing flags and chant­ing po­lit­i­cal slo­gans as Sharif’s con­voy headed to the cap­i­tal of Pun­jab prov­ince, where he hopes to bring tens of thou­sands into the streets in a show of force.

“The Supreme Court’s judg­ment to dis­qual­ify him is dis­puted, so peo­ple have not ac­cepted it,” Sharif sup­porter Ar­shad Iftikhar, a re­tired gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial, said.

Thou­sands of po­lice sealed off main streets in the cap­i­tal and sur­round­ing ar­eas as fears lin­gered over se­cu­rity af­ter a truck bomb ex­ploded in Lahore on Mon­day, killing one per­son and in­jur­ing dozens.

Oth­ers lin­ing the route voiced frus­tra­tion with the po­lit­i­cal elite.

“Around 50 per cent of the peo­ple here are those who have just come to watch the scene,” said by­stander Naza­kat Ali.

Sharif was the 15th prime min­is­ter in Pak­istan’s 70-year his­tory - roughly half of which has been spent un­der mil­i­tary rule - to be ousted be­fore com­plet­ing a full term. The top court sacked him last month af­ter an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into cor­rup­tion al­le­ga­tions against him and his fam­ily, bring­ing his third term to an end.

(AFP)

Nawaz Sharif (right) waves to sup­port­ers from his car as he takes out a rally from Is­lam­abad to Lahore on Wed­nes­day

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