Thousands of people attended a rally and procession in support of former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday as he embarks on a show of political power following a Supreme Court decision to disqualify him from office over undeclared assets.
Sharif launched the so-called “caravan” procession from Islamabad to his eastern hometown of Lahore, despite the concerns of advisers about security.
After being driven 12 hours surrounded by supporters showering his vehicle with rose petals from capital Islamabad to the neighbouring city of Rawalpindi, normally a 30 minute drive, Sharif addressed the crowd shortly after midnight.
“One court has given its decision, now this court will make a decision, the court of the people of Pakistan,” Sharif said, asking the crowd if they accept the Supreme Court’s decision, a question that elicited a loud “No” from his supporters.
“Nawaz Sharif is still our prime minister,” said worker Niaz Ahmad, who wore a lion look-alike costume and chanted, “Lion, Lion!” referring to the election symbol of Sharif’s political party.