Sharif Rallies Crowds En Route to Lahore

Deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif addresses his supporters from inside a vehicle during 'homecoming' rally on Thursday Aug 10. — AP  File

Deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif addresses his supporters from inside a vehicle during 'homecoming' rally on Thursday Aug 10. — AP File

A nine-year-old boy was killed by a police escort vehicle, accompanying deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif's jeep, near Lala Musa, Punjab province, on Friday.

He has called the rallies a "democracy caravan".

Sharif said in his Gujrat speech he would personally visit the boy's home "and try to help his family for life".

Sharif, also nicknamed the Lion of Punjab, addressed the crowd from a makeshift stage behind bulletproof glass, his voice hoarse but bold as he insisted his conscience was "clean".

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Many lining the route had on Wednesday voiced frustration with Pakistan's political elite-but in Jehlum on Thursday, Sharif found support.

He is travelling in a bomb-proof vehicle especially designed for the journey.

Sharif hopes to bring tens of thousands more into the streets in Lahore but it is not yet known when he will arrive in the Punjabi capital.

While serving as the country's Prime Minister in 1993, Sharif was sacked by the then-president over graft allegations, while in 1999 he was ousted in a military coup.

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It is the second time in Pakistan's 70-year history that the Supreme Court has disqualified a sitting prime minister.

The Chief Minister said that the people have always reposed their full confidence over the policies of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the party has also adopted practical steps for national development, instead of indulging in any lip service.

The former prime minister had earlier announced his younger brother Shahbaz Sharif's name as the party candidate.

On Friday a party official told AFP Sharif's wife would contest the parliamentary seat left vacant after his removal.

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The former PM said people voted him to power for ending the prolonged power cuts and to propel the country's economy, claiming the power outages will be eliminated by the next year. However, key leaders from Sharif's ruling PML-N party were conspicuous by their absence, with some commentators suggesting this could be a reflection of disagreements within the party.

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