Nawaz Sharif: 'Pakistan's army chief toppled my government'
Pakistan's former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has blamed army chief General Qamar Bajwa for toppling his government and installing Imran Khan in his place.
Sharif was addressing an election rally in Gujranwala on Friday night via a video link from London. It was his first public rally as the leader of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), the newly-formed joint opposition alliance.
Sharif accused Bajwa and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt General Faiz Hameed of rigging elections. He said the two (Army and ISI) removed his government, suppressed the media, judiciary and victimized opposition politicians.
Much of Sharif’s speech was not covered by TV news channels due to a ban by the country’s broadcast regulator that disallowed the airing of speeches, statements and interviews of proclaimed offenders and absconders. People, however, attended the rally in thousands. One estimate put the number of people attending the rally at around 20,000.
Pakistan Muslim League (N) vice-president Maryam Nawaz arrived at the rally in Gujranwala around 9pm, local time, followed by Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari.