Saturday, 19 August, 2017

Deposed Pakistani Prime Minister Continues March Toward Lahore

It is responsibility of all stakeholders to protect democracy Nawaz Remove Sharif as party chief : ECP to PML-N
Howard Terry | 11 August, 2017, 00:18

He said a huge number of people were waiting for Mr Sharif along the Grand Trunk Road linking the capital, Islamabad, with Lahore, a distance of about 380 kilometres.

The speech marks the first time Sharif has publicly commented on the court's ruling and comes as the former prime minister leads a defiant procession from Islamabad to his party's stronghold in Lahore. And Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf said that Sharif failed to bring out people and the rally was already a "flop show".

According to police officials, around 8,000 to 8,500 people and 900 to 950 vehicles had joined the procession. No one can be allowed to disgrace people's mandate.

Opposition leader Imram Khan has expressed concern at Sharif's plan to travel to Lahore with a cavalcade, describing it as "a deliberate attempt to undermine the Supreme Court" and its judgement in the high-profile scandal.

The Prime Minister Office in a statement said Abbasi thanked the president and said that terrorism is a common threat for both the countries and both countries need to fight it together.

Security has been heightened in Lahore ahead of the arrival of Sharif as PML-N members believe that the Sunday explosion of a fruit-laden parked truck here was meant to target the former Prime Minister's convoy that was scheduled to pass on way to Lahore.

Sharif will stay in Jhelum overnight and resume his journey to Lahore on Friday morning.

He stepped down almost an year before Pakistan would have participated in the scheduled general elections. Pakistani Supreme Court has disqualified Sharif on July 28, after a probe into Sharif family's wealth following the 2015 Panama Papers dump linking Mr Sharif's children to offshore companies.

'May Allah keep my brother, my leader & all the participants of rally in his protection, ' the chief minister said.

In his late night address to his supporters at Rawalpindi's Committee Chowk, Sharif called the apex court's decision to depose him last month a "joke" and an insult to voters.

Sharif also announced that he respects the decision despite serious reservations.

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