Sharif supporters take to streets

Pakistan on Thursday headed for a fresh political turmoil as hundreds of PML(N) cadres took to the streets for the second day and vented their anger against President Asif Ali Zardari....

Written by Press Trust Of India | Islamabad | Published: February 27, 2009 3:50 am

Pakistan on Thursday headed for a fresh political turmoil as hundreds of PML(N) cadres took to the streets for the second day and vented their anger against President Asif Ali Zardari following the Supreme Court order barring Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif from contesting polls.

Even as Sharif stepped up his attack against Zardari,Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani sought to reach out to the PML(N),saying his party wanted reconciliation with the Opposition.

Gilani said he was “saddened” by the court order. “We wanted reconciliation and we are moving towards that. We wanted the process of reconciliation to continue,” Gilani said.

Hundreds of PML(N) cadres took to the streets across the country and torched posters of Zardari,who dismissed the PML(N) Government in Punjab Province after the SC order.

The epicentre of the largescale protests was Punjab province,a stronghold of PML(N),where normal life was crippled as schools,colleges,shops and business centres remained shut.

Police prevented PML(N) legislators from entering the Assembly to hold a session after sacking of provincial administration led by Shahbaz. Scuffles erupted as the PML(N) lawmakers clashed with police,who did not allow them into the Assembly building.

The lawmakers tried to force their way into the Assembly,but were pushed back by policemen,even as paramilitary and additional police forces were deployed across the Punjab province.

Dozens of lawmakers,including women,were bundled into police vans when large number of PML(N) activists broke through the barricades and entered the Assembly premises.

In Rawalpindi,protesters burnt tyres and blocked roads. The PML(N) had called for nationwide protests against the SC order and imposition of Governor’s Rule in Punjab.

Sharif had on Wednesday blasted Zardari,the order was “not a judicial decision but an edict”.

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