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GT Road rally: Nawaz Sharif en route to Gujranwala

JHELUM: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif is expected to continue on his journey to Lahore via the GT Road today.

Sources said the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo plans to reach Gujranwala today, situated at a distance of around 100 kilometres from here.

Nawaz is expected to depart Jhelum around noon today, after spending the night at Tulip Hotel — located on the bank of Jhelum River — on the second day of his ‘homecoming rally’, following his disqualification by the Supreme Court on July 28.

Local leaders of the PML-N, along with supporters, and security staff have begun amassing at the venue.

Senior party leaders Pervaiz Rasheed, Saad Rafique, Amir Muqam and Abid Sher Ali, among others, are accompanying Nawaz.

Addressing his supporters in Jhelum on Thursday evening, Nawaz said he is not greedy for power but wants to change Pakistan for the better.

He added that he was working towards bringing peace and prosperity to the country.

The former premier said it was the people’s mandate which brought him to power and he was ousted “in a minute”.

“Now, five honoured judges, ousted a democratically elected prime minister with the stroke of a pen in a minute,” said Nawaz.

“There was no corruption, there was no wrong doing.”

“You choose a prime minister by voting for him, but then a judge or a military dictator tears up your vote. This needs to change if Pakistan is to progress,” said Nawaz.

“The average for a democratically elected prime minister in Pakistan is a year and a half. Dictators rule the country for 10 years but a prime minister can not even complete his tenure.”

“Is any court to punish dictators, dictators who have violated the Constitution,” questioned the former premier.

After addressing his supporters, Nawaz held a meeting of PML-N leaders to discuss the future course of action.

Earlier, Nawaz’s convoy departed Rawalpindi and entered Jhelum.

Though the former premier’s convoy took a while to cross Katcheri Chowk, Rawalpindi, once through, it whizzed out of the garrison city, crossing Rawat and the GT Road towns that follow.

Nawaz began the second leg of his ‘homecoming rally’ after leaving in his cavalcade from Punjab House, Rawalpindi on Thursday.

On Wednesday, the former premier set out from Punjab House, Islamabad after deciding to go home to Lahore via the GT Road earlier.

The amassing of supporters, however, could only get him as far as Rawalpindi — forcing him to spend Wednesday night in the city.

After being disqualified by the Supreme Court on July 28 in its verdict in the Panama Papers case, Nawaz has gone to the ‘people’s court’ to seek their verdict.

Addressing supporters at Rawalpindi late Wednesday night, he took a pledge from the people that they would get their mandate respected.

“Promise me you would get your mandate respected. Promise me you won’t allow your prime minister to be humiliated this way,” he stated.

“If you do not protect your rights, they will continue to be snatched away from you,” he told his supporters.

“The judges said there is no corruption case against Nawaz Sharif, so why was I disqualified? I leave this for history to determine,” noted the three-time premier.

Earlier, the former prime minister’s caravan entered Rawalpindi surrounded by scores of supporters.

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Azhar Hashmi

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