A few conspired to oust democratic government in Pakistan: Nawaz Sharif

Former premier's wife to stand in Pakistan parliament

But the name of Shahbaz was apparently withdrawn after some senior party members apprehended that the PML-N could stand to lose its grip in Punjab in the absence of the younger Sharif.

The wife of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been nominated to contest his seat, the ruling party said Friday. In 2012 then prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani was disqualified over contempt of court charges for refusing to reopen a corruption case against President Asif Ali Zardari.

Sharif is traveling in a bombproof vehicle especially designed for the journey, meant as a show of strength after the Supreme Court's decision has left his ruling party scrambling to replace him. His armoured vehicle picked up speed and proceeded to Jhelum with a police escort. This tradition of sending premier home should be stopped now.

Before his departure from Rawalpindi's Punjab House on Thursday morning, Sharif held a meeting with PML-N officials, including interior minister Ahsan Iqbal and Marvi Memon, and expressed anger at the local administration over the low turnout for his rally.

Sharif is now holding rallies across Punjab, where the city of Lahore - the Sharif family's home town - is the provincial capital.

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"As the rally gets closer to Lahore, it will surpass all other jalsas of the past".

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.

Questions have also been raised about the absence of familiar PML-N faces from the rally, who could possibly have drawn a greater crowd of supporters than relatively new faces such as Talal Chaudhry and Daniyal Aziz.

Supporters chanted "prime minister Nawaz Sharif" and danced to songs praising his party as the former leader addressed the crowd from a makeshift stage behind bulletproof glass.

"The Supreme Court should do justice to Sharif and restore him", he told AFP.

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