World Bulletin / News Desk
Well-wishers thronged around Sharif’s armored motorcade outside Punjab House, broadcaster Geo TV reported. He was joined by his replacement as premier, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
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.
His cavalcade set off at 11.40 a.m. local time (0640GMT) despite security warnings.
More than 3,000 police oversaw his departure from Islamabad and passage through Rawalpindi. Thousands of other security personnel are to guard the route to Lahore.
Roads were sealed and businesses ordered to close by police.
Backers of Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chanted slogans, threw rose petals and waved posters of the former prime minister as they lined the roads and trailed his motorcade.
Samaa TV cited the government as saying up to 1,000 vehicles and 6,000 people had joined the procession by 2.30 p.m. local time (0930GMT).
Before leaving Punjab House, the offices of the Punjab provincial government in the capital, Sharif met several government ministers.