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Iran Press TV

Deposed Pakistani premier criticizes top judges for his ouster

Iran Press TV

Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:44PM

Pakistan's deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif has criticized the country's Supreme Court judges for disqualifying him from office.

At a speech during a stop in the town of Jehlum, Sharif told a crowd of people on Thursday that he was voted into office by the people but judges ousted him.

"I was removed in a minute," he said, adding, "It is not an insult to an elected prime minister, but an insult to millions of voters."

Elsewhere in his remarks, Sharif also pledged to keep up his quest for justice.

Sharif embarked on an on-the-road rally on Wednesday from the capital Islamabad, heading to his hometown of Lahore, the capital of Punjab province.

Sharif, also nicknamed the Lion of Punjab, addressed the crowd from a makeshift stage behind bulletproof glass during his journey.

His convoy, traveling amid tight security along the Grand Trunk Road linking the Pakistani capital and the eastern city of Lahore, initially drew tens of thousands of people, but the crowds were much smaller on Thursday.

The former deposed premier's defiant procession is inching closer to his stronghold of Lahore in a bid to rally supporters after his ouster.

Sharif, who stepped down after the Supreme Court's July 28 decision, says he did it reluctantly.

The top court ousted Sharif after an investigation into corruption allegations against him and his family, bringing his historic third term in power to an unceremonious end. He served three separate stints as premier but never completed a full term in office.

Sharif's dismissal left Pakistan briefly in limbo but his ruling party, which holds a comfortable majority in the country's parliament, promptly elected Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as his successor. As new prime minister, Abbasi has ordered special measures for Sharif's safety.

The court ruling against Sharif was apparently based on leaked documents – the so-called Panama Papers – that unveiled the Sharif family's offshore finances.

With corruption allegations engulfing the powerful Sharif family -- a dominant force in the country's politics for the last three decades -- cricketer-turn-politician Imran Khan is hoping to win support for his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party.

The grassroots PTI has long campaigned on an anti-corruption platform.

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