Remove Sharif as party chief : ECP to PML-N

Nawaz decides to travel to Lahore via GT Road

"It is my wish that Shahid Khaqan Abbasi remains prime minister till the end of the tenure", Sharif said while addressing senior leaders of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) at the Punjab House here.

Khan described Sharif's plan to travel to Lahore with a cavalcade on GT Road a "deliberate attempt to undermine the Supreme Court" by calling into question its verdict in the Panama Papers case. Sharif had initially announced that Abbasi will be appointed as interim premier until his brother Shehbaz is elected as a member of Parliament to become premier.

US-educated Abbasi has been frank about Sharif's role as the power behind the throne but those close to him expect a slightly different approach to the army. "This is not a million march this is a ten million march", he said downplaying criticism that participants in the rally were less than expected.

Sharif, speaking to reporters at the Punjab House, asked: "When will the court punish the dictator who says "dictatorship is better than democracy".

He regretted that he was once removed as prime minister under the now-defunct Article 58 (2)(b) of the Constitution, termed a hijacker by General Muhaarraf and had now been disqualified by the judiciary on an allegation never mentioned in the petition.

"Nawaz Sharif is still our prime minister", said worker Niaz Ahmad, who wore a lion look-a-like dress, chanting, "Lion, lion!"

Qamar Zaman Kaira of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) said that there could be around 10,000 people with Sharif.

He argued that the court should cancel registration of PML in the ECP as it was in the name of disqualified Nawaz Sharif.

Meanwhile, in another challenge to the ruling Pakistan Muslim League party, firebrand opposition cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri returned home after mostly living overseas amid pending court-cases against him in Pakistan.

The party leaders have suggested in recent days that Abbasi is expected to hold office until elections due next year against an initial decision that Sharif's younger brother, Shahbaz, would take over the office. Qadri has vowed to get justice for eight supporters killed during anti-government rallies in 2014.

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