LONDON/Lahore - Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday said he has a principled stance over his disqualification and the people supported his stance during the recently conducted by-polls in NA-120.

Referring to his ‘homecoming rally’, he said that the people of Pakistan all along the GT Road from Islamabad to Lahore supported his stance and expressed confidence in his leadership.

Nawaz was speaking to the media in London after a meeting of PML-N bigwigs, who reportedly decided to remove Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in the wake of NAB probe against him.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi reached London from New York. He along with Ishaq Dar and other bigwigs of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz assembled at Hussain Nawaz’s office for the meeting earlier in the day.

According to reports, Nawaz and Dar continued their discussions while other PML-N leaders left the premises.

Later in the day, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif also arrived in London to meet Nawaz and discuss with him important issues.

The London meetings, which would continue on Sunday, are being held to discuss key party issues, including the friction between different party leaders and change in party leadership, a party source said.

Electronic media quoted sources as saying that the PML-N top leadership would also ponder on the ways to tackle the situation arising out of the accountability cases against Sharif family.

Political future of the former PM’s daughter Maryam Nawaz and amendments in articles 62 and 63 of the constitution to pave way for Nawaz’s return to Parliament are also on the list, they said.

The Senate on Friday passed the Electoral Reforms Bill 2017, which paved the way for Nawaz Sharif to regain chairmanship of PML-N. According to the bill, every citizen will have the right to be part of a political party, except those in government service, and will also have the right to create a political party.

According to a private TV channel, the Saturday’s meeting chaired by Nawaz decided to take resignation from Ishaq Dar after detailed discussions on the issue.

The development came three days after National Accountability Bureau (NAB) seized bank accounts and properties of the finance minister, amid calls for his resignation.

On Wednesday, NAB sprang into action against Dar after an accountability court initiated proceedings against him in a corruption reference that was filed on the directives of Supreme Court in connection with Panama Papers case.

Nawaz in his media talk, referring to reports of a PML-N worker going missing before the by-polls, said he has asked the premier to look into the matter and conduct an inquiry into the incident.

When asked about proscribed organisations participating in the by-polls, Nawaz said it is a cause for concern for the people and the country because such forces can harm the democratic process and the situation can take an unexpected turn.

Earlier, after his meeting with Nawaz, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that democracy won in the NA-120 by-polls.

The PML-N stood victorious in the face of tough competition from the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) as it won the by-poll in what is considered the party’s ‘home-seat’, which fell vacant after Nawaz was disqualified under Supreme Court’s July 28 judgment in Panama leaks case.

Speaking to reporters, Hussain Nawaz said his mother Kalsoom Nawaz had undergone three surgeries and required prayers to recover.

When asked by a journalist if he would go to the accountability court, Hussain replied they had always done so.

Talking to media on his arrival in London yesterday, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif overruled the impression of differences in the PML-N. The reports of split in the party are not more than fudging, he said.

Before leaving for London, Shehbaz had a long meeting with former Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali Khan. According to media reports, Ch Nisar and Maryam Nawaz have not been on the same page on many matters relating to the party over the last couple of years.

A private media channel reported that the chief minister will convey Ch Nisar Ali Khan’s message to Nawaz on ‘minus-Maryam PML-N’ formula.

During his media talk, when Shehbaz was asked about the LHC order for making Justice Ali Baqir Najfi report on the killing of 14 members of the PAT in Lahore, he said the matter of the report publication was still subjudice (before a full bench). He said he himself had constituted inquiry on the incident so that end of justice could be met.