Pakistan's deposed PM to resume rally amid tight security

Former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday embarked on a journey to Lahore from Islamabad via the famous Grand Trunk Road to show his popularity among masses. Raja Zafarul Haq, senior Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader, told the media that Shehbaz Sharif, 65, would be the new president of PML-N.

The rally, which started yesterday, covered a distance of some kilometers in over 12 hours to reach Rawalpindi from Punjab House Islamabad, a travel that usually takes 20 minutes in normal days.

A plan to address supporters in Islamabad was canceled due to security reasons and paucity of time, party leaders said. Sharif has repeatedly said he never received any of that money.

"It is unusual that a man who has been disqualified is planning to travel on the road and tell people that he is innocent", said the cricketer-turned-politician who is the chief of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party.


The last known contact between top leadership was made when former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and Ghani met on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Astana about two months ago.

Supporters of deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif hold posters of their leader while they arrive to attend a rally in Islamabad, Pakistan, Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017.

"There are no allegations of corruption against me", Sharif told the crowds from inside his bulletproof auto.

He said no corruption charges had been proved, and it was unfair to disqualify him on the grounds of not having declared a salary from his son's Dubai-based company among a list of assets submitted ahead of the 2013 elections that brought him to power. The PMLN initially named his younger brother Shahbaz as his eventual successor and Shahbaz was set to contest an upcoming by-election to enter Parliament.


On July 29, Pakistani Supreme Court chose to remove Sharif following corruption investigation into his family.

Shehbaz Sharif stressed that Nawaz Sharif strengthened the country s defence, helped speed up progress by quick completion of projects and represents the larger public mandate.

Qadri, the fiery cleric, said Tuesday that he will launch a new anti-government campaign and praised the Supreme Court for disqualifying Sharif.



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