Supporters of jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif burnt effigies of dissident leaders in Karachi Wednesday following a split in the Pakistan Muslim League (PML) party.
Around 300 PML workers staged a demonstration to condemn the anti-Sharif campaign by the dissidents and their takeover of the party's office in the capital, Islamabad, on Monday.
Four dissident leaders, including Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, a former federal minister in Sharif's government, have been suspended from the party for allegedly instigating the takeover of the PML offices.
The anti-Sharif group has rejected the suspension as unlawful and demanded party polls to elect a new leader in place of the imprisoned former Prime Minister.
The demonstrators shouted "Long live Sharif" and accused the military regime of supporting the dissident group.
Sharif's wife Kulsoom said Tuesday more people would be expelled from the party.
"Sharif has asked for action against all those who have violated party discipline," she told reporters after meeting her husband in prison at the Attack fort near Islamabad.
The split in the PML came after the party decided to join the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) of opposition parties to present a unified front against military ruler General Pervez Musharraf who seized power late last year.
PML sources said a three-member delegation met GDA chief Nasrullah Khan in Lahore on Tuesday, agreeing in principle to wage a joint struggle for the restoration of democracy -- KARACHI (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)