Pakistan's deposed PM to resume rally amid tight security

Imran Khan advises PML-N to separate itself from the Sharif family and their corruption

"This needs to change if Pakistan is to progress", said Sharif, who in 1999 was ousted by then Army chief Pervez Musharraf.

Within days Sharif's eponymous Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had nominated former oil minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as a new prime minister, with the National Assembly rubber-stamping their choice. On Thursday, he began the second leg of his "homecoming rally" after leaving Rawalpindi's Punjab House.

Shehbaz Sharif, who is now the chief minister of Punjab, will become the Pakistani prime minister instead of incumbent Shahid Khaqan Abbasi after the parliamentary by-election during which he will be elected to the National Assembly. Thousands of Sharif's supporters gathered during his departure from Islamabad to Lahore on Wednesday to show solidarity.

The two leaders also agreed to work together to address the challenge of energy in the region and improve the economic condition in Pakistan and Afghanistan. He said the people have rejected corrupt entities of the past.

Sharif Tuesday avoided questions on the chances of him returning as Prime Minister, but hinted that he would remain active in politics.

Opposition parties were not convinced about the numbers.

According to police officials, around 8,000 to 8,500 people and 900 to 950 vehicles had joined the procession.

Sharif will stay in Jhelum overnight and resume his journey to Lahore on Friday morning.

"I can not tell you when we will reach Lahore". Thousands of other security personnel are to guard the route to Lahore. "How many metros has Mrs Nawaz Sharif built?"

"Security is an issue, though elaborate measures have been taken to make the journey free of any risk", a PML-N leader said.

Mr Sharif, in recent meetings with party leaders, lawyers and the media, has expressed his displeasure over the court ruling.

The general elections in Pakistan is due next year.

The court termed the salary which was not paid to Sharif as an "asset".

The rally came a day after Sharif said he was determined to go to his home despite Monday's truck bombing in Lahore, in which two people were killed.

Sharif also announced that he respects the decision despite serious reservations.

"It is unusual that a man who has been disqualified is planning to.Tell people he is innocent", said the cricketer- turned-politician.

In another challenge to the ruling PML-N, firebrand opposition cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri returned home after mainly living overseas amid pending court cases against him in Pakistan.



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