LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — Deposed Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif called Saturday for “a change and revolution” in the country to ensure the sanctity of the vote as he addressed a large gathering of his supporters in his home town of Lahore.
Concluding his four-day journey, which began in Islamabad and culminated in a rally in Lahore, the capital of Punjab province, Sharif was clearly delighted to address the tens of thousands who gathered near the famous shrine of Data Darbar.
After a Supreme Court decision disqualified him last month for concealing assets, Sharif traveled with a long cavalcade from Islamabad Wednesday. He stayed overnight in three different cities. Authorities stopped vehicles, except for Sharif’s and ministers, at the entrance to the city because of the massive crowds.
Sharif said that across his journey he saw that citizens had not accepted his disqualification and asked his supporters to await his next move, without elaborating.
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Citing his accomplishments, Sharif asked why a prime minister was disqualified when he was moving the country toward progress.
“Does a prime minister making the country developed and prosperous deserve such a treatment,” he asked
Sharif said that over the past 70 years no prime minister in Pakistan has been permitted to complete their term, making the country and its people suffer.
He told the crowd that he was ready to give his life to change the destiny of the country and its people.
Sharif has a rocky history with the country’s military establishment.
He served three separate stints as premier but never completed a full term in office. In 1993, then-President Ghulam Ishaq Khan removed him on corruption allegations. And in 1999, Gen. Pervez Musharraf seized power in a coup.