Pakistan's ruling party may field ousted premier Nawaz Sharif's wife Kulsoom or his daughter Maryam from the seat that fell vacant after he was disqualified from holding office, a senior party leader said yesterday.
Khan had also alleged that Sharif's plan to travel to Lahore with a cavalcade was 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.
The procession moved at an unusually slow pace, reaching the garrison city of Rawalpindi, a 20-minute drive, in four hours, where thousands of supporters waited for Sharif.
How Abbasi, the co-founder of a budget airline and a skydiving fan, tackles those two issues may define his tenure as he seeks to tilt the next general election, due in mid-2018, towards the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party.
Sharif launched the "caravan" from Islamabad to his hometown of Lahore, some 400 kilometers south of the capital, despite concerns voiced by close advisers about security for himself and the crowds he is expected to attract.
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. Lion is Sharif's political party election symbol. The PAT lawyer had pleaded that since the Supreme Court of Pakistan had disqualified Nawaz Sharif so he could not run affairs of the party. Party sources quoted Sharif as saying that Abbasi was a party veteran and a committed worker.
"There are criminal cases and Sharif is seeking to build up pressure against NAB and the accountability court", he said.
The court termed the salary which was not paid to Sharif as an "asset".
According to some reports, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif is expected to contest the by-poll and assume office of Prime Pinister.
Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) through the notice told the PML-N that Mr Sharif can not lead the party after disqualification under the Political Parties Order 2002. He wants justice for eight of his supporters killed in anti-government rallies in 2014.