Pakistan ousted PM's wife to contest in parliament by-election


After the resignation of Nawaz Sharif on July 28, hours after his disqualification from the Supreme Court, all eyes were on his younger brother, seen as a possible substitute.

Pakistan's deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday criticised the country's Supreme Court judges for disqualifying him from office, pledging to keep up his quest for justice even as the crowds following his "caravan of democracy" road rally dwindled.

It might sound silly as to why Kulsoom Nawaz would not be able to use the election symbol of the party that nominated it as its candidate but a legal formality bars usage of "lion" symbol after the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif as prime minister.

The election on the National Assembly seat will be held on September 17.

On the other hand, the embattled ruling party, now on roads to muster public support, announced that it would nominate Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif as president though no official notification has been issued in this regard.

The other Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) candidate who has submitted nomination papers is Hafiz Noman and from PTI the other candidate is Andaleeb Abbas.

A defiant Nawaz Sharif criticised on Thursday the judiciary for forcing him to quit as prime minister, saying it was an "insult" to 200 million people of Pakistan that their elected leader was unceremoniously ousted with a single stroke of pen.

Supporters chanted "prime minister Nawaz Sharif" and danced to songs praising his party as the former leader addressed the crowd from a makeshift stage behind bulletproof glass. Sharif asked. To make sure that their vote is respected, he asked people to stand by him. "If I was corrupt then I would have been ashamed", he said.

Observers say with Kalsoom's nomination for the parliament seat, Sharif intends to seek the dominant role of his family in politics and try to retain his traditional parliament seat in Lahore.

"You sent me to Islamabad but they (judges) have sent me back to home", he said.

Nawaz asked the people, "I don't expect you to reinstate me, but I want you to support me for the betterment of this country". "Do not forget your promise and when Nawaz Sharif's message will reach to you, you all have to be with me", he urged the workers. "When will the people's mandate be respected?" adding that this joke has been repeated in Pakistan for 70 years. "Wait for my call to join me in the struggle against such elements as have disgraced the democratic right of the people", he said.

He was greeted by supporters lining up on the both sides of road as he came out of the Punjab House in Islamabad on Wednesday, making it impossible for his motorcade to move.