Live coverage of GT Road Rally: Nawaz seeks support for future plan

Live coverage of GT Road Rally: Nawaz seeks support for future plan

August 11, 2017
Web Desk

GUJRANWALA: Nawaz Sharif on Friday continued to criticise the Supreme Court of Pakistan orders that sent him packing in the wake of Panama Papers case revelations, seeking people's support for a plan that he said would announce later. 

"The country is on the path of progress, but such decisions push the country back fifty years," he said. When they couldn't find an alibi, they ousted me for not taking salary from my son," he said addressing a huge gathering of his supporters in Gujranwala.

"I have come here to wake you up for the sake of country's respect." he said and asked his workers to pledge their support to him.   

Dinner menu

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif who resumed his journey to Lahore from Jhelum on Friday morning is expected to spend the night in Gujranwala.

The rally, which has entered Gujranwala, earlier stopped in Gujrat where the former prime minister made a fierce speech, expressing anger over his disqualification at the hands of judiciary.

According to Geo News, arrangements have been finalized for Nawaz Sharif's stay in Gujranwala where bungalow of PMLN leader and federal minister  Khurram Dastagir Khan's brother-in-law has been decorated ahead of Sharif's arrival.

According to the menu seen by Geo News , the PMLN leadership will have a sumptuous dinner which will include traditional dishes including Daal Gosht, Mutton Gosht, famous Chirray of Gujranwala, dry fruits and a couple of sweet dishes.

Convoy kills boy at rally

The motorcade the former prime minister  hit and killed a 13-year-old boy who had come to his at which Nawaz Sharif was protesting his recent ouster, officials said.

"A 13-year-old boy who had came to see the rally was hit by a car in the convoy," Sajid Ali, head of the local Lalamusa police station, told AFP.

An investigation had been launched, he said. 

Railways minister Khawaja Saad Rafique called the teenager "the first martyr of this movement for democracy" in an address to the thousands-strong crowd in nearby Gujrat.

One of the vehicles in the motorcade hit and killed the boy as he crossed a divider on the road, the minister said.

Sharif said in his Gujrat speech he would personally visit the boy´s home "and try to help his family for life". 

The former prime minister said in Gurjat he would not tolerate insult to people’s mandate, in a reference  his disqualification by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. 

Addressing a large number of people, the ousted leader said it was the third time he was ousted.

"There is no respect for your vote. Today Nawaz Sharif has been ousted at the hands of judiciary,” said he, and asked the people whether they can tolerate this insult to their leader.

“Nawaz Sharif is  in people’s court. I salute you for the way you welcomed me. There would have been no load shedding, if they had  allowed me to work.

"They ousted me faster then I was completing development projects. There is no respect for your vote . ..  I can’t tolerate this joke."

The former prime minister reiterated that he was disqualified for not taking salary from his son and not over corruption.

He said he worked day and night to put an end to load shedding and the power crisis was going to end next year if he was not disqualified.

The senior politician seemed a bit worried after his caravan diverted from the route following his speech in Gujrat. Speaking to Geo News, Sharif said he had inquired from the people concerned as to why the course was changed.

Earlier,  Sharif continued a slow, defiant procession down the ancient GT Road Friday, inching closer to his stronghold of Lahore in a bid to rally supporters after his ouster.

He stayed in Jhelum for the night, where he told the swelling crowd of around 10,000 people that the Supreme Court´s decision to depose him last month after a corruption probe was an "insult" to Pakistanis.

Families crowded on rooftops in Jhelum and celebratory gunshots rang out while the crowd chanted "Look who is here, the tiger is here".

Sharif, also nicknamed the Lion of Punjab, addressed the crowd from a makeshift stage behind bulletproof glass, his voice hoarse but bold as he insisted his conscience was "clean".

Thousands also lined the road to catch a glimpse of the former leader as his convoy rolled down the Grand Trunk Road, a more than 2,000-year old trade route which leads from Chittagong in Bangladesh across India and Pakistan to the Afghan capital Kabul.

Sharif is travelling in a bomb-proof vehicle especially designed for the journey, meant as a show of strength after the Supreme Court´s decision has left his ruling party scrambling to replace him.

The convoy was surrounded by heavy security, with fears lingering after a truck bomb exploded in Lahore Monday, killing one person and injuring dozens.


Kid dies after being hit by a vehicle escorting the rally near Lala Musa: police


The caravan has reached Gujrat where Nawaz Sharif will offer Friday prayers at Furniture Market mosque and address a public rally.

Next stops:

It was still undecided whether the caravan will reach its destination today or not as there are a few public addresses expected ahead, including big ones in Gujrat and Gujranwala. The rally will travel through Sarai Alamgir, Kharian, Lala Musa, Gujrat, Wazirabad, Gujranwala, Kamoki, Muridke, Kala Shah Kaku, Ferozewala before its conculsion in Lahore.

Ch Nisar absent

Former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said on Thursday that one should not go to the extreme and should not adopt such an attitude that offends institutions. He said one should always keep tolerance and patience.

He denied reports that he did not attend Nawaz Sharif’s GT Road rally due to back pain, Geo TV reported.“Neither did I tell anyone that I could not attend the rally due to back pain and my absence was not due to this reason,” said a statement issued by Nisar. “The reality is that 99 percent of senior leaders are not part of the rally. Why is only my absence being made controversial?” he questioned.

The former interior minister further said that he had never said that he will drive Nawaz Sharif’s vehicle to Lahore but still the news story was run for a day. “The reality is that a statement from me was run some time ago which I never gave to anyone,” further added the statement.

PM Secretariat giving disserted look as the AJK PM and ministers are busy in homecoming rally of ousted PM Nawaz Sharif.
PM Secretariat giving disserted look as the AJK PM and ministers are busy in homecoming rally of ousted PM Nawaz Sharif.