‘Defiant’ Nawaz rally leaves Gujranwala for Lahore




Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s ‘homecoming’ caravan has once again started heading towards Lahore city via G T Road.

This is the fourth day since the deposed prime minister and leader of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) started what many called a ‘defiant’ rally after he was disqualified by the Supreme Court.

On his rally’s arrival at Gujranwala, where he stayed overnight, a large number of supporters welcomed him and raised slogans in his favour. Nawaz also delivered a speech with scathing criticism of the judiciary, calling his ouster from office a ‘joke’.

Referring to the July 28 verdict of a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court that unanimously disqualified him from holding a public office for not being Sadiq (truthful) and Amin (trustworthy), Nawaz said,  “Every prime minister in this country was allowed one-and-a-half years on average to rule. Some were executed, some jailed, some handcuffed and some exiled. On the other hand, dictators were allowed to rule for decades and the judges even allowed them to rule.”

He claimed it was pity that none of the prime ministers in the 70-year history of the country had been allowed to complete their tenure.

Opposition questions use of resources for Nawaz’s rally

Thousands also lined the road to catch a glimpse of the former premier as his convoy rolled down the route. Sharif is travelling in a bomb-proof vehicle especially designed for the journey.

Before embarking on the journey, the Pakistan Muslim League -Nawaz (PML-N) leader held a meeting with key party leaders, including Prime Minister Khaqan Abbasi and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.

Sources confirmed that Defence Minister Khurram Dastagir was instructed to make arrangements to accommodate a large number of people and was handling affairs in Gujranwala.

According to sources, around 1,000 vehicles and some 5,000 supporters are accompanying the ‘homecoming’ rally.