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Former Pakistani PM Sharif renews call for people to join protest
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08:21, March 16, 2009

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The former Pakistani Prime Minister and leader of a main opposition party Nawaz Sharif on Sunday renewed his call for people to join the lawyers' protesting movement.

Addressing a news briefing at his residence in Lahore, capital city of eastern Punjab province, Sharif said he urged people to join the "long march" of the lawyers.

The government has turned the country into a police station, Sharif said, adding that it was illegal to put him under house arrest.

He also maintained that the courts and their decisions were "illegal and unconstitutional".

As supporters and activists of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) led by Nawaz Sharif and other political parties joined the protest in Lahore, police tried to disperse them with tear gas but they failed.

Pakistani policemen baton charge supporters of former premier Nawaz Sharif during an anti-government protest rally in Lahore, March 15, 2009. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)

Sharif was expected to lead the long march on Sunday morning but he was put under house arrest for three days, according to local press reports.

The lawyers initiated their "long march" destined at Islamabad on March 12 across the country. They plan to reach Islamabad on March 16 and stage sit-in for an indefinite period until the restoration of the judges sacked in November 2007 when then-President Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency.

Source: Xinhua

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