Nawaz Sharif’s Lahore-bound convoy ‘bold display of political power’: NYT

NEW YORK, Aug 10 (APP): Despite near-saturation coverage of the
heightened US-North Korea tensions, American print and electronic media Thursday featured former Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif’s
Lahore-bound homecoming journey, with The New York Times calling it
“a bold display of political power.”
In a dispatch from Islamabad, the Times’ correspondent, Salman Masood,
reported that “thousands of his supporters” joined the procession when it left Islamabad for the Punjab capital.
The report noted that Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi saw off
Nawaz Sharif, with several government ministers, who joined the convoy, leading “the chanting in their leader’s support.”
The Times said despite security risks, Sharif “was undeterred and said
he was going back to his people. Hundreds of supporters gathered along the route of his convoy in Islamabad, cheering and waving party flags.”
“I am not a PML-N supporter, but I fully support Nawaz Sharif and his
struggle for civilian supremacy,” correspondent Masood quoted Arslan
Shahid, 29, an accountant who was at the rally in Islamabad, as saying.
Nawaz Sharif chose to go to Lahore by the Grand Trunk Road, which
connects several cities of Punjab Province, the report noted. “His party
has a strong hold over almost all cities along that highway, and he was hoping for a large turnout that would help him reclaim his position as a populist leader.”
Party workers in Lahore there have made elaborate arrangements for
the former prime minister’s arrival, the report said. “Main thoroughfares
of the city were festooned with banners and posters welcoming him home.”
It quoted Chaudhry Majid Asghar Warraich, a senior party worker in
Lahore, as saying that a grand reception awaited his leader. “It will be a reality check for some people,” Warraich said.
Most other newspapers carried reports from international agencies
about slow-moving convey, saying that supporters chanted, “Look who is
here: Lion! Lion!”