Pakistan's former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif continued a slow, defiant procession down the ancient Grand Trunk Road Thursday, inching closer to his eastern stronghold of Lahore in a bid to rally supporters after his ouster.
"I don't want reinstatement for myself".
"The court decision was wrong", 24-year-old Malik Arsalan told AFP, voicing his hope that the rallies would propel Sharif to power once more. Sharif has repeatedly said he never received any of that money. Earlier, fear griped Sharif's party workers after the truck bombing killed at least two persons and injured 30 others on Monday. "The honorable judges sent me home".
"There is only one prime minister and that is Nawaz Sharif", said Talal Chaudhry, a state minister who is part of Sharif's PML-N.
Referring to the security situation in Pakistan, Sharif said he had brought peace to Karachi and Balochistan.
Sharif has a history of rocky relations with the military, and he was cautious about commenting on the sensitive issue of civil-military relations.
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"Even those judges said Nawaz Sharif didn't indulge in corruption", he thundered, and asked people to question why their leader was disqualified when he was not involved in corruption.
"Choosing his wife over his brother will deepen the crisis of credibility for Nawaz Sharif", said Mosharraf Zaidi, a columnist.
Backers of Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chanted slogans, threw rose petals and waved posters of the former prime minister as they lined the roads and trailed his motorcade.
While talking to Geo News on Tuesday, the prime minister hinted that his government would take the initiative of removing Article 62 (1)(f), which has been criticised heavily following the verdict, by contacting all political parties and politicians of all hues. Sharif had initially announced that Abbasi will be appointed as interim premier until his brother Shehbaz is elected as a member of Parliament to become premier.
"God willing, I will remain active".
He was ousted and disqualified on the basis that he did not take salary from his son's company and did not show it in his assets, he added.