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Ousted Pakistani prime minister starts 'caravan' to hometown

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Punjab CM Shahbaz responds to the critics

Pakistan People's Party (PPP) leader and Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Khursheed Shah Wednesday said Nawaz Sharif has finally made a decision to connect with the masses but it is now too late for him to benefit from.

"Dictators rule the country for 10 years but a Prime Minister can not even complete his tenure". Due to the massing of supporters on the way, it took 12 hours for the rallyists to reach Rawalpindi, 20 km away.

He warned the supporters that their elected leaders would again be sacked in future if "you do not protect your rights". "Is this not an insult to your vote?"

When asked whether the army had influenced the judiciary against him, Sharif said "let's leave this question for later".

Qadri, the fiery cleric, said Tuesday that he will launch a new anti-government campaign and praised the Supreme Court for disqualifying Sharif.

The explosion in a fruit truck occurred on the route that Sharif is to take on Wednesday for the rally.

"This is the court of the people", he added, speaking from behind bullet-proof glass and saying that it seems the entire city had come out to greet him.

"This gathering here serves as a referendum".

Among those who welcomed the former premier in Jhelum was lawmaker Anusha Rehman who said the people's court had announced its verdict in Nawaz's favour. "I am struggling to ensure the rule of law in Pakistan", he said in a meeting with journalists in Islamabad. I don't want power. They used the Punjab House to spend the night while the supporters who had gathered earlier, went to their homes for the night.

Opposition leader Imram Khan has expressed concern at Sharif's plan to travel to Lahore with a cavalcade, describing it as "a deliberate attempt to undermine the Supreme Court" and its judgement in the high-profile scandal.

However, it is not sure whether he would keep the time if the response is massive like in Rawalpindi.

The 380-kilometer (237-mile) journey has been referred to as a display of Sharif's continued standing and strength after he was forced to quit late last month over undeclared assets.

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