Sharif reaches Rawalpindi on 1st day of roadshow via GT Road

Violet Powell
August 11, 2017

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif - who was disqualified last month by the Supreme Court for hiding assets in his nomination papers for 2013 elections -on Wednesday kicked off his journey from Islamabad to reach Lahore via GT Road.

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.

Pakistan People's Party (PPP) leader and Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Khursheed Shah Wednesday said Nawaz Sharif has finally made a decision to connect with the masses but it is now too late for him to benefit from.

Despite the security threat to Sharif's rally, "there is no change in the plans", Punjab government spokesman Malik Mohammad Ahmed said.

Authorities estimated that up to 8,500 people and 950 vehicles were part of Sharif's procession, reports said. Thousands of supporters has been waiting for sharif in the garrison city of Rawalpindi.

Shortly after the ECP's notification, the PML-N held a high-level meeting of senior party members, including Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and former Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar, Dawn newspaper reported.

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Sharif Tuesday avoided questions on the chances of him returning as Prime Minister, but hinted that he would remain active in politics. "We will do this in the interest of Pakistan", he said, claiming that there was "not even a single allegation of corruption". The next general election is due in June 2018. He was joined by his replacement as premier, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

'May Allah keep my brother, my leader & all the participants of rally in his protection, ' the chief minister said.

Sharif is likely to address a rally in Lahore but the timing and venue has been announced yet.

Sources said that a large number of Sharif's supporters wanted the ex-PM to return to his hometown Lahore, by road.

Sharif's travel plan has upset his rival Imran Khan, who in a press conference, has alleged that Sharif was disgracing the court by challenging its decision through the roadshow.

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