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Maryam Nawaz's protest rally convoy 'cut off' after reaching Faisalabad

Updated July 21, 2019

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PML-N vice-president Maryam Nawaz surrounded by supporters as her convoy makes a stop.  — PML-N Twitter
PML-N vice-president Maryam Nawaz surrounded by supporters as her convoy makes a stop. — PML-N Twitter

PML-N vice-president Maryam Nawaz's convoy reached Faisalabad late Sunday night where it was blocked by police who had set up containers.

The PML-N leader was due to address a protest rally in the city, but announced that the convoy had been cut off.

"My rally has been stopped by police. The miles long rally has been blocked by putting containers. I am at the head end. Rest of the rally has been cut off," wrote Maryam.

Earlier, as the convoy made its way to the destination, the PML-N leader lauded the spirit demonstrated by the droves of supporters who she said "had disregarded the containers [blocking the pathways] and the threat of arrests to come out and show their love and commitment for Nawaz Sharif".

Upon her arrival in the city late Sunday evening, Maryam took to Twitter to express her gratitude to the "ocean of people" gathered to welcome her.

Maryam had left the family residence Jati Umra in Lahore on Sunday afternoon for Faisalabad.

Talking to the media before leaving, Maryam said that a "government that has to shut down [opposition] leaders, that has to arrest political workers, block rallies and roads is counting its last days".

The party's Twitter account shared a picture of Maryam, clad in a green dress with an image of her father and slogan of ‘Free Nawaz Sharif’ embossed on her kurta, as she got ready to depart.

Last week, the daughter of incarcerated former premier Nawaz Sharif had announced launch of protest rallies across the country from July 21 for justice for her father, rule of law and freedom of expression.

She has asked every Pakistani "who wishes to live in a free, democratic and just Pakistan" to join her campaign.

On July 7, Maryam had led a rally from Jati Umra Lahore to Mandi Bahauddin. The PML-N had alleged that the rally's coverage was blocked on some of the private news channels.

On July 12, an interview of Maryam Nawaz was "forcefully" taken off air soon after it was run.

To a question about media censorship regarding the coverage of Maryam Nawaz’s rallies, PML-N information secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb had said: “Even if the Imran Khan government shuts the whole country down out of fear of her taking to the streets, she will lead huge rallies.”

“The people of Pakistan will come out for rule of law. There has been no legal and moral justification to keep Nawaz Sharif in jail after the removal of the accountability judge (Arshad Malik) for his confession that he had been ‘pressurised and blackmailed’ to convict the former premier in the Al-Azizia reference,” Aurangzeb had said.