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Nawaz Sharif's brother Shehbaz set to head PML-N

10 August 2017

Sharif plans to spend at least two nights in as many cities along the Grand Trunk Road while leading the rally from Islamabad.

So on Thursday the organizers of the rally chose to reach next destination well in time to ease out party workers, from a painful wait in the humid and hot weather.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif says the nation will remember measures taken by PML-N for development and prosperity of the country.

Mr Sharif, 67, resigned during his third stint as prime minister after the supreme court ruled on July 28 that he should be disqualified.

The 370-km journey began around noon from Islamabad. Sharif's convoy moved at very fast pace from Rawalpindi to Jhelum, at times speeding at 120 kms per hour.

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"May Allah keep my brother, my leader & all the participants of rally in His protection -ss", Shehbaz Sharif, the younger brother of the former Prime Minister wrote in a tweet.

"I leave this for history to determine", said Sharif.

Sharif was seen off in Islamabad by Abbasi, the new cabinet and other party officials, Sharif's political adviser Asif Kirmani said.

The PML-N is banking on its workers for making Sharif's return to his hometown a "historic" occasion to get the much-needed political mileage in the face of the challenges its government is facing. In the case of ECP's notification also, the party was quick to hold consultations and made its intentions clear to replace the party head with a new one.

Ahead of the 2013 general elections, the Pakistan Peoples Party-under threat from the Taliban-opted for security to forestall terror strikes on its supporters.

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PML-N's Uzma Bukhari, attempting to defend her party leader's decision to speed up the journey, said: "The towns he has travelled through are small towns".

Sharif has brushed aside the concerns and told party leaders it was vital to inform supporters about the circumstances under which he was ousted, party sources said. According to reports, the legal basis for disqualifying Sharif is explained in the page 23 and 24 of the verdict. The timing and venue of gathering has not been announced, as it is not known how long he would take to reach Lahore.

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Meanwhile, Canada-based cleric of Pakistani-origin Tahir-ul-Qadri, who has returned to Lahore, criticised Sharif's roadshow and demanded that he should change it.

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