Thrice deposed PM Nawaz Sharif embarks on historic journey

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ISLAMABAD, Aug 9 (APP): Thrice deposed Prime Minister and PML-N leader Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Wednesday embarked on a historic political journey to his hometown Lahore along with thousands of his party supporters after his disqualification by the apex court on charges which he refused to accept but still implemented the decision.
Meeting the same fate in 2017 as he met in 1993 and 1999,
Sharif this time decided to convey his displeasure to the masses, contrary to previous democratic fiascos when either he opted not to show his power or go to exile.
This time he opted for a long journey to Lahore through
Grand Trunk (GT) Road where he will address his party workers at different points and brief them on reasons that led to another incomplete tenure as prime minister.
Nawaz Sharif departed for Lahore from Punjab House Islamabad Wednesday morning with plans to remain on the road for minimum of three days before reaching his destination where an important election in NA-120, the seat fallen vacant after his disqualification, would take place in September.
Amid tight security after recent Lahore blast, he
started his journey along with thousands of party workers
and supporters from across the country. He would be addressing party workers at different stopovers during his journey.
Around 2,500 security personnel were deployed on his route
in the federal capital from Punjab House to Faizabad from where he entered the jurisdiction of Punjab province. Nawaz Sharif will be voyaging through different towns and cities of Punjab province.
Thousands of party workers from KP led by Engineer Amir Muqam, the stronghold of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf also joined Nawaz Sharif while local leadership in twin cities also pulled large number of party workers for a gracious send off to their leader.
Elaborate security arrangements were made for the rally
with deployment of 2500 security personnel deployed in the federal capital, 600 from Missa Kaswal to Jhelum river on G T Road other than deployment at different places on his route to Lahore. Moreover, 1200 personnel and commandoes have been deployed for
security of the rally. As many as 33 ambulances and nine fire
brigade vehicles were accompanying the rally while more than 6000 personnel have been deployed along G T Road for the security of rally.
People had started reaching twin cities and Punjab House from early in the morning carrying banners, posters and placards bearing slogans and photographs of their leaders. Party workers set up reception camps along G T Road to accord warm welcome to their leader. Caravans also reached from Azad Kashmir, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Attock and other areas adjoining the twin cities.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and cabinet members of the PML-N, party leaders and large number of workers and supporters also arrived at the Punjab House for a warm send off to Nawaz Sharif.
The rally departed from Punjab House around 1130 hours with special prayers and best wishes for the success of democracy, masses welfare and a strong Pakistan.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi bid farewell to Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.
Those who came to see him off included Governor Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, almost all members of the federal cabinet, besides the Prime Minister of AJK Raja Farooq Haider, parliamentarians and party workers.
Prime Minister Khaqan Abbasi warmly hugged Nawaz Sharif before he sat in his car surrounded by large number of party workers who were chanting slogans of “Wazir-e-Azam Nawaz Sharif”. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar also hugged Nawaz Sharif while cabinet members warmly shook hands. Nawaz Sharif waved to the workers gathered around his vehicle.
The session of the National Assembly was also adjourned owing to lack of quorum as the ruling party members opted to head to the Punjab House.
A specially designed armoured container had been prepared for Nawaz Sharif, from where he would address public rallies along the route.
Minister for Defence Engineer Khurram Dastagir said that
people of Pakistan, who had used their right of vote for Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) and elected Nawaz Sharif as leader of the country, were now expressing their great attachment with him.
He said that Nawaz Sharif was going to home via GT Road after the decision of the apex court. He wanted to share his concern over disqualification with the people, who had
elected him thrice as prime minister, he added.
Huge Chinese investment in the shape of China Pakistan
Economic Corridor (CPEC), and growing relations with regional countries, including Central Asian States, were the result of policies of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, he said.
Khurram appreciated the role of Pakistan armed forces in the
war against terrorism. He said Pakistan had given a lot of
sacrifices in wiping out the menace of terrorism.
Replying to a query, he said the PML-N had made all
arrangements with its own funds to welcome former prime minister.
Chairperson Benazir Income Support Programme Marvi Memon said the passion of workers for their leader Nawaz Sharif was worth seeing and at the time he would reach Lahore, his popularity would open eyes of the opponents.
Marvi Memon said the rally was just a start and the passion of workers of PML-N would touch new heights in coming hours.
MNA Sardar Awais Ahmad Laghari on Wednesday said holding a rally was a constitutional right of the party.
Former Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif was leading a rally from Islamabad to Lahore via Grand Truck (GT) road on the demand of people of country, he said talking to a private news channel.
Replying to a question, he said during Pakistan
Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) sit-ins at D-Chowk, its chief Imran Khan had threatened to topple the elected government which was an unconstitutional act.
Chairman Board of Investment (BoI), Miftah Ismail said that
former prime minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif was an asset for Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the country.
Commenting on the rally, he said that like other political
parties, the former PM had also held the right to go in the public for apprising them about reservations over the decision.
To a question, he said that PML-N had implemented the
decision of the court regarding disqualification of the former
prime minister.
Senior PML-N leader Dr Musadik Malik said thousands of
people had expressed their love and trust in former Prime
Minister Nawaz Sharif by participating in his rally.
Despite reservations over the Panama Papers verdict, Nawaz Sharif had implemented it to strengthen state institutions in letter, he said while talking to a private news channel.
The PML-N had provided the security to the rallies taken out
by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf during sit-ins, he said.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders thanked the party workers for their active participation in the Islamabad-Lahore rally led by former Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.
“The party workers’ passion, solidarity with their
beloved leader Nawaz Sharif and participation in the rally is
exemplary,” they said while addressing the rally participants
at the I-9 Interchange.
Minister for Railways Saad Rafique said active
participation of a huge number of PML-N workers in the rally
indicated that Muhammad Nawaz Sharif lived in hearts of
the public and he would continue to rule their hearts.
“I congratulate the workers of PML-N for participating
in the rally, their participation in the rally indicate that
conspiracies cannot cause any dent to popularity of Nawaz
Sharif,” he added.
He said journey of nine kilometers from Punjab House
to I-8 interchange was completed in five hours, and the rally’s arrival time in Lahore could not be determined, keeping in view the current pace.
President of PML-N Khyber Pakhtunkhawa Amir Muqam appreciated the charged party workers and termed the rally-day a historic in the country’s politics.
He said, “The people are with Muhammad Nawaz Sharif
due to their love and loyalty with Pakistan and he will remain so in the hearts of people.”
Prime Minister Azad Jammu Kashmir Raja Farooq Haider,
Chief Minister of Gilgit-Baltistan Hafiz Hafeezur Rehman and
the PML-N leadership from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab are participating in the rally.
Minister for Climate Change, Senator Musahidullah Khan said
people were warmly receiving the rally of former Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, who was living in the hearts of masses.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government would
foil all the conspiracies against the democracy, he said talking
to a private news channel.
He said the continuity of democratic system was imperative
for stability and prosperity of the country.
Minister of State for Interior Talal Chauhdry said Nawaz
Sharif was the prime minister of the people and their hearts.
He said people came out to warmly greet to their cherished
leader Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.
The rally of forme prime minister would conclude at the
shrine of Hazrat Data Darbar Lahore, the minister said.
Minister for Interior Ahsan Iqbal said the people were warmly
welcoming the former Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, who was leaving for Lahore via G.T.Road.
People were expressing their emotions and love with Nawaz
Sharif during the rally, he added.
The minister said the opponents were worried about this
situation and public participation in the rally.
He said Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) would witness the
popularity of the PML-N among masses and their rising support in days to come.
Minister of State for Capital Administration and
Development Division (CADD) Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, who was also in the rally, said “We will tell the masses that Nawaz Sharif was disqualified on the basis of Iqama not corruption”.
Minister for Health Services and Regulations Saira Afzal Tarar
said conspiracies against Nawaz Sharif would die down
with the passage of time and he would emerge victorious against all odds.
Senator Asif Saeed Kirmani said huge gathering in the rally
reflected love of the masses for the former prime minister, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.
He said, “People are eagerly waiting to have a glimpse of their leader Nawaz Sharif. They know that their leader Nawaz Sharif was not involved in corruption and faced victimization”, he said.
Leader of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)
Hanif Abbasi said that today PML-N rally alongwith the former PM Nawaz Sharif on his departure from Islamabad to Lahore was the biggest political event in the country.
Hanif while rejecting the allegation against the party from
the opposition said “We never invited the public on calls and they are not being manipulated and participated in the rally on their sweet will”.
The rally led by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was warmly welcomed at D Chowk by thousands of workers reaching here from different parts of country.
The participants were carrying banners and placards bearing
pictures of party leaders and slogans for PML-N and Nawaz Sharif.
The participants were also chanting slogans for their leader
extending their full support.
Former Prime Minister waived to party workers and responded to their support and slogans. Fool proof security arrangements have been made for the rally during its voyage within the capital territory.
Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said that the rally is
being arranged by the people on their own will and desire, adding that this was public decision and public opinion cannot be wrong”.
He said that it is purely public rally and it has no link with
the court decision. He said rally is not against anybody but it is people’s desire to show their love for Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.