Lahore, Aug 11 (IANS) With thousands of party supporters and admirers milling along the route, deposed Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday continued with his defiant procession down the ancient Grand Trunk Road, inching closer to his stronghold of Lahore in a bid to rally supporters after his ouster.
He stayed in Jhelum on Thursday night, where he told his massing supporters that the Supreme Court’s decision to oust him last month after a corruption probe was an “insult” to Pakistanis.
Families crowded on rooftops in Jhelum and celebratory gunshots were fired while the crowd chanted “Look who is here, the tiger is here”. The PML-N chief began his GT Road rally on Wednesday,
Sharif, also nicknamed the ‘Lion of Punjab’, addressed the crowd from a makeshift stage behind a bulletproof glass, his voice sounding tired with the long journey, 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 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 left his ruling party scrambling to replace him.
The convoy was surrounded by heavy security, amid fears after a truck bomb exploded in Lahore on Monday, killing one person and injuring dozens.
It was still unsure if the caravan will reach its destination on Friday night as Sharif is set to address a few public rallies, including in Gujrat and Gujranwala.
The rally is scheduled to travel through Sarai Alamgir, Kharian, Lala Musa, Gujrat, Wazirabad, Gujranwala, Kamoki, Muridke, Kala Shah Kaku, Ferozewala before it ends in Lahore.