Ousted Pakistani prime minister starts 'caravan' to hometown

Punjab CM asserted that PML-N has always preferred national benefits
Punjab CM asserted that PML-N has always preferred national benefits
Author

11 August, 2017

Within days Sharif's eponymous Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had nominated former oil minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as a new prime minister, with the National Assembly rubber-stamping their choice.

An aggressive Nawaz Sharif, leading a mammoth rally from Islamabad to his hometown Lahore, on Thursday launched a scathing attack on the Supreme Court for ousting him as Pakistan's Prime Minister.

The PML-N was already holding consultation to appoint new party chief.

Pakistan People's Party (PPP) leader and Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Khursheed Shah Wednesday said Nawaz Sharif has finally chose to connect with the masses but it is now too late for him to benefit from.

Sharif's rally comes a day after firebrand opposition cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri returned home from overseas despite pending court cases against him in Pakistan. A huge crowd gathered for his journey along the Grand Trunk Road bridging the 380 km between Islamabad and Lahore.

"No prime minister in Pakistan has ever been allowed to complete his term".

Large numbers of police were deployed in Islamabad and Rawalpindi on Thursday, as compared to the first day of the rally, but fewer cars were accompanying Sharif's procession.

"The court of the people of Pakistan has given its verdict in my favour", the PML-N leader said.

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He said that ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif is making fun of the state institutions.

"[I was disqualified because] my son has a company that I never took a salary from", a defiant Sharif said on the eve of his planned "caravan" to Lahore.

The rally picked up speed and passed Gujar Khan after a brief halt where the ex-PM delivered a speech.

At least 5,000 persons are expected to accompany him throughout the journey, and thousands are expected to receive and see off the leader at the borders of their respective constituencies.

Several intelligence agencies issued a threat alert that terrorist organisations were planning an attack at the rally.

A plan to address supporters in Islamabad was canceled due to security reasons and paucity of time, party leaders said.

He stepped down almost an year before Pakistan would have participated in the scheduled general elections.


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