Nawaz Sharif's 'homecoming rally' on its way to Lahore via GT Road

Dunya News

The convoy has crossed Gujar Khan.

RAWALPINDI (Dunya News) – The cavalcade of Nawaz Sharif, who was ousted by Supreme Court (SC) under 62(1)(f) of the Constitution in Panama Leaks case, resumed its journey from Kacheri Chowk  and now on its way to Lahore via Grand Trunk Road.

The top leadership of PML-N has decided to stay in Jhelum today and will proceed with the GT Road rally tomorrow.

He addressed the rally in Jhelum and said that he had promised to do whatever it took to take Pakistan towards prosperity and things have improved a lot during the last four years, reminding that all the promises made during the 2013 election campaign were fulfilled.

Nawaz Sharif and his supporters reached Jhelum after 1700 hrs and were welcomed by a significant number. Songs were played upon his arrival which demanded reinstating him as the executive head. The local leadership of Jhelum were seated at the stage and it appears as if the former PM will address the people here. Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique drove his car at almost 120 km/h to reach Jhelum early.

Photo: Nawaz Sharif s vehicle arrives in Jhelum

It was reported on 1600 hrs Thursday that he has crossed Gujar Khan and headed towards Jhelum. It is expected that he will reach Gujranwala today.

Photo: How Nawaz Sharif was greeted on the way to Jhelum

The former premier came out of Punjab House on his BMW four-wheeler car amid great applause and departed for Lahore after spending night in Rawalpindi.

During the rally at GT Road, Nawaz Sharif addressed the supporters while sitting in his car. He said that disqualifying elected PM is equal to disqualifying the voters.

He lashed out at Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chief Imran Khan and Pakistan Awami Tehreek Chairman Tahir-ul-Qadri and said that their sit-ins badly hurt Pakistan.

Sharif said that he was working to eradicate poverty and ignorance from the country.

Watch: Nawaz Sharif praying before departure

Thousands of PML-N supporters thronged the federal capital to express solidarity and love for their ousted leader whereas camps have been formed all along the GT Road to welcome him.

The workers also chanted slogans and surrounded the car of Nawaz Sharif.

Watch: Federal Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali looks more energetic today

Nawaz Sharif holds consultative meeting

Nawaz Sharif chaired a consultative meeting of party leaders ahead of departure on rally’s day two and discussed arrangements for his Lahore arrival and future agenda.

The meeting was attended by Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal and others.

Nawaz Sharif’s address

Addressing the party workers for the first time in his ‘GT Road homecoming rally’ at Committee Chowk on Wednesday, Nawaz Sharif said that the mandate of the people has never been respected for the past 70 years and that he was disqualified on July 28 this year for not accepting salary from his son’s company.

He said that the people of Pakistan have not accepted the judgment of the top court and that he doesn’t bear any corruption charges. He urged the party workers to help him change the course that Pakistan is following. He vowed to contribute towards a better Pakistan along with the people.

He announced to resume the journey at Kacheri Chowk in Rawalpindi at 11:00am on August 10. Be two days or three days, he does not mind reaching home late when people are giving him and his party so much love, the former premier added.

Criticising Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief, who landed in Lahore from Canada, Nawaz claimed that he leads a luxurious life abroad and does not care for the people of Pakistan.

Security and other arrangements

All arrangements were finalised as banners and posters were displayed on the route while the local administration granted permission for the rally as well.

The security plan was devised under which more than 6,000 security personnel have been deployed while all the areas around the route will be sealed as the cavalcade approaches.

Helipads have also been built in Gordon College in Rawalpindi and in ten other colleges of the district including Rawat and Gujar Khan to handle any untoward incident.

Panamagate verdict

On April 20, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa had announced Panama Leaks case decision comprising of 540 pages, saying that the court issued a split ruling calling for a JIT. Two of the five judges went further, branding Sharif "dishonest" and saying he should be disqualified, but they were outnumbered.

The court formed a six-member inquiry team that included Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) Additional Director General Wajid Zia, Military Intelligence’s Brig Kamran Khurshid, National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) Director Irfan Naeem Mangi, State Bank of Pakistan’s Amer Aziz, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan’s (SECP) Executive Director Bilal Rasool and Inter-Services Intelligence’s Brig Muhammad Nauman Saeed.

The JIT members during the seven-week period interrogated eight members of Sharif family including Nawaz Sharif, his younger brother Shehbaz Sharif, sons Hassan and Hussain Nawaz, daughter Maryam Nawaz, son-in-law Captain Safdar, cousin Tariq Fazal Chaudhry and brother-in-law Ishaq Dar and submitted its report on July 10.

On July 29, the five-judge larger bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and comprising Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan after a week-long hearings unanimously disqualified Nawaz Sharif.

"It is hereby declared that having failed to disclose his un-withdrawn receivables constituting assets from Capital FZE Jebel Ali, UAE in his nomination papers filed for the General Elections held in 2013 in terms of Section 12(2)(f) of the Representation of the People Act, 1976 (ROPA), and having furnished a false declaration under solemn affirmation respondent No. 1 Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif is not honest in terms of Section 99(f) of ROPA and Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 and therefore he is disqualified to be a Member of the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament)."

The fresh PM for Pakistan

On August 2, President Mamnoon Hussain had administered oath to Shahid Khaqan Abbasi after he was elected as the leader of the House in National Assembly (NA) for 45 days by securing 221 votes.

On August 4, a 43-member new cabinet that included 27 federal and 16 state ministers took oath in a ceremony at Prime Minister House.

"Panama Papers" Fallout

Panama Papers had published a leak of documents belonging to Mossack Fonseca, a law firm in April 2016 creating uproar in Pakistan among other countries. The leak was studied by International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and stated names of incumbent as well as former leaders of the world who owned shell companies.

Opposition parties in Pakistan saw offshore companies as proof of money laundering done by Sharif family. Questions over the source of money used to purchase flats in London’s posh Mayfair locality by Sharif family were raised.

The top court took up the case in October last year on petitions filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Awami Muslim League and Jamaat-e-Islami.