ISLAMABAD - Following his disqualification as prime minister in the Panama Papers case, the ruling Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) has decided that Nawaz Sharif along with other senior party leaders would go back to his hometown Lahore either by GT Road or by train to tell the masses the counter-narrative of the party on his ‘disqualification.’

Sources in the PML-N informed that in the post-disqualification scenario now the main task before the party’s leadership is to give the counter-narrative and keep the voters intact with the party by projecting the point that Nawaz Sharif was not disqualified on charges of corruption but the court had taken ‘flimsy’ grounds to oust him from premiership.

The senior party leaders had already started dubbing the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif as a conspiracy of those who did not want to see to prosper. They further highlighted that the case against Nawaz Sharif was not that of corruption of public money but was entangled in some missing links in the family businesses.

The date of the return journey to Lahore was not finalised yet and the party leaders were still working out the plan which would most likely to be finalized in next few days most probably after the election of Shahid Khaqan Abbassi as prime minister on August 1.

The sources informed that the day Nawaz Sharif was disqualified on July 28, some of the party leaders who were present in the Prime Minister’s House suggested that now Nawaz Sharif should return back to his hometown via GT Road and address public rallies in the cities on the way to give the counter-narrative of his disqualification which was not on the basis of any corruption charges but on a flimsy ground of keeping the residence visa of UAE, which he was compelled to keep for staying in London in the days of exile.

The sources in the party said that Senator Ch Tanvir Khan was the first to float this idea and soon after, it was endorsed by many others in the meeting as at that time the atmosphere was emotionally charged and everyone present there was dubbing it a victimisation and conspiracy against the PML-N leadership, which wanted to take the country on the road to progress and prosperity.

The idea was well taken by the former prime minister but said that the decision on it would be made later after consultation with other party leaders.

Later, the idea of travelling back to Lahore was deferred for a few days as the party was to complete the process of bringing in the substitute of Nawaz Sharif and after marathon sessions the name of Shehbaz Sharif was finalised to step into the shoes of his elder brother, while for the stopgap arrangement another party loyalist Shahid Khaqan Abbassi was picked.

Former federal minister Ch Barjees Tahir said that it was decided that the former prime minister Nawaz Sharif would return to Lahore either via GT Road or he would take the train to his hometown and on the way back he would address public gatherings at various spots.

Another credible source in the party said that the senior party leaders would finalise the return plan of former PM Nawaz Sharif to his hometown and most likely he would take the train instead of moving in caravan on GT Road.

Sources said that the return journey of Mian Nawaz Sharif to Lahore on train would remind the PML-N train march, which they undertook in 1994 against the then PPP government led by Benazir Bhutto.

Sources in the party said that after the installation of Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s government Nawaz Sharif would finalise his plan of returning to his hometown and after taking into account security and other reasons, would decide to either go by train or take the GT Road route.