Shahbaz to replace Nawaz as party chief

Punjab CM asserted that PML-N has always preferred national benefits

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. "There is no stain of corruption, my hands are clean", said Sharif, who was disqualified on July 28 on charges of corruption linked to what has come to be known as the Panama Papers.

Thousands of Sharif supporters thronged the capital to join in the rally, setting up camps along the route the former prime minister is expected to take.

On Tuesday, Punjab's Information Minister Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman revealed that the rally will take three days to reach Lahore instead of single day.

"Does Pakistan's elected prime minister deserve to be removed in such an insulting manner?" he asked.

Leader of Pakistan Peoples Party Qamar Zaman Kaira has asked ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif to inform the people about the name of the conspirator that planned his removal from the office.

More news: Rahul Gandhi Evades Questions by Media on Karnataka Tax Raids

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.

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

Sharif sought the people's promise to get their mandate respected.

He said that the final decision would be taken by Sharif. "We will do this in the interest of Pakistan", he said, claiming that there was "not even a single allegation of corruption".

Sharif is likely to address a rally in Lahore but the timing and venue has been announced yet. "One court has given its decision, now this court will make a decision, the court of the people of Pakistan", Sharif said, asking the crowd if they accept the Supreme Court's decision, a question that elicited a loud "No" from his supporters. Sharif kick-started his mass contact campaign Wednesday in a move aimed at demonstrating his political strength by leading a rally from the capital to his home city of Lahore, ignoring security threats. 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.

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