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Former Pakistani PM Addresses Tens Of Thousands Of Supporters In Lahore

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (center) waves to supporters during a rally on his "caravan of democracy" protest drive.

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif told thousands of supporters at a rally that he will "change the fate of the country" as he arrived in his hometown of Lahore from Islamabad after a three-day protest drive.

Sharif, who was ousted by the country's Supreme Court on July 28, said the court's decision "disrespected the vote" of those who had voted for him in the elections and he "will not sit at home until I change the fate of this country."

The large crowd on August 12 was part of a massive protest that began on August 9 when Sharif launched what he called a “caravan of democracy” from Islamabad to Lahore.

Sharif’s long cavalcade stopped overnight in three different cities since he began the journey.

The group was surrounded by heavy security, with fears lingering after a truck bomb exploded in Lahore earlier this week, killing one person and injuring dozens. Sharif traveled in an armored vehicle.

He has given speeches along the way criticizing a decision by the Supreme Court that disqualified him from public office.

Sharif resigned from his post after the court ruling over an investigation that concluded his family could not account for vast wealth it owns in offshore companies.

The investigation stemmed from the so-called Panama Papers leaks in April 2016, when documents from a Panama-based law firm revealed that three of Sharif’s four children owned offshore companies and assets not shown on his family’s wealth statement.

The July court ruling marked the third time Sharif’s government was dismissed.

He previously was dismissed from office in 1993 and in 1999.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and