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Home>>World >> Asia/Oceania
08:33, March 16, 2009

Pakistan's Sharif leads demonstration to capital, defying detention order


Former Pakistani Prime Minister and leader of a main opposition party Nawaz Sharif (R) speakes to his supporters in Lahore, east Pakistan, Mar. 15, 2009. Sharif on Sunday began to lead the "long march" procession from his residence in Lahore to capital Islamabad, defying the detention order from the government. (Xinhua Photo)

Former Pakistani prime minister and opposition party chief Nawaz Sharif on Sunday began to lead the "long march" procession from his residence in Lahore to capital Islamabad, defying the detention order from the government.

While addressing his supporters in Lahore, capital of eastern Punjab province, Sharif, chief of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), demanded removal of barriers on the way to Islamabad and warned that the party workers will remove them, the official Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) reported.


Former Pakistani Prime Minister and leader of a main opposition party Nawaz Sharif waves to his supporters in Lahore, east Pakistan, Mar. 15, 2009. Sharif on Sunday began to lead the "long march" procession from his residence in Lahore to capital Islamabad, defying the detention order from the government.(Xinhua Photo)

Sharif said that police can not suppress the spirit behind the movement which they have launched for independence of judiciary.

Sharif refused to abide by the detention order conveyed to him by the local administration, the APP said.

Pakistan was plunged into a deeper political turmoil after Sharif was placed under house arrest ahead of a major protest destined to the capital.

Pakistan police clashed with the protesters in Lahore on Sunday.


Pakistani policemen baton charge supporters of former premier Nawaz Sharif during an anti-government protest rally in Lahore, March 15, 2009. Pakistan's main opposition leader Sharif was put under house arrest in a bid to prevent him leading a protest march on the capital.(Xinhua/AFP Photo)

TV footage showed that the police fired tear-gas shell to disperse the protesters, while the protesters threw stones to police in Lahore, the PML-N's power center.

The lawyers and political activists kicked off their "long march" on March 12 and they are expected to reach Islamabad on March 16 and stage sit-in to urge to government to restore the judges sacked in 2007.

The government has put in place security measures and the roads leading to Rawalpindi and Islamabad were blocked.

Some 60 Supreme Court and High Courts judges were sacked in November 2007 when then-President Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency. Some of them took fresh oath of office while others including former Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry are yet to be restored.

Source: Xinhua

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