ECP asks PML-N to replace Nawaz Sharif as party leader


Last month, Pakistan's Supreme Court disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Panama Paper leak case after an investigative panel concluded his family's assets exceeded their income, effectively ousting him from office and barring him from electoral politics for five years.

Sharif Wednesday morning left the Punjab House in Islamabad and arrived at D-Chowk, the first stop of his procession, where the former premier's supporters greeted him.

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

Pakistan's deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif waves to his supporters during a rally in Islamabad, Pakistan, Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017.

August 8:The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday issued a notice to the PML-N calling for removing Nawaz Sharif as party leader and appointing a new one.

He said the speed of the rally had nothing to do with any security threat. "I have self-respect", the veteran leader told his cheering supporters after reaching Jhelum, a major city along the Grand Trunk Road.

"The court decision was wrong", 24-year-old Malik Arsalan told AFP, voicing his hope that the rallies would propel Sharif to power once more.

The media quoted Sharif as saying that while the people's mandate catapulted him to power, he was ousted "in a minute".

Sharif's "caravan" took 12 hours to travel the 20 kilometers from Islamabad to Rawalpindi due to big crowds estimated as large as 30,000 that were walking and driving alongside his auto.

Asif Kirmani, Sharif's spokesman, said "a sea of people" welcomed Sharif.

Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf said that Sharif failed to bring out people and the rally was already a "flop show".

The current leader of the party is Nawaz Sharif.

Sharif, however, was not happy with the number of supporters at the rally. 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.

Sharif's rally comes a day after firebrand opposition cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri returned home from overseas despite pending court cases against him in Pakistan.