Nawaz Sharif holds roadshow in Lahore despite security threats, hundreds throng streets to show support

Islamabad: Pakistan's ousted premier Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday embarked on a journey to Lahore from Islamabad via the famous Grand Trunk Road to show his popularity among the people despite security concerns following a bomb blast in the Punjab province's capital.

File image of Nawaz Sharif. Reuters

File image of Nawaz Sharif. Reuters

He held a meeting with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, cabinet ministers and senior party leaders before starting the 370-km-long journey.

Sharif was accompanied by hundreds of his supporters.

The former prime minister has not visited his hometown and his stronghold, Lahore, since he was disqualified by the Supreme Court last week over the Panama Papers scandal.

His party has estimated that thousands of supporters would line up on the road side to greet him.

Earlier, fear griped Sharif's party workers after the truck bombing killed at least two persons and injured 30 others on Monday.

Sources in the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party said that some of the senior party leaders were concerned about the security of Sharif.

He has also planned to deliver speeches at important places where even bigger crowds of supporters are expected to turn up.

"The security is an issue, though elaborate measures are being taken to make the journey free of any risk," a PML-N leader said.

Sharif, however, has brushed aside all concerns and told his colleagues that it was vital to touch his supporters to inform them about his ouster, according to sources.

He would also address a rally in Lahore after reaching the city. The timing and venue of gathering has not been announced, as it is not known how long he would take to reach to Lahore.

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

"It is strange 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.


Published Date: Aug 09, 2017 01:48 pm | Updated Date: Aug 09, 2017 01:48 pm


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