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Pakistan PM Addresses Nation Ahead Of Opposition Rallies

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has pledged an "independent and transparent" probe into opposition allegations of rigging in last year's elections.

Sharif made the comment during a prime-time televised speech on August 12, in a bid to defuse political tensions in the country.

The speech came two days ahead of protests headed by cricket-star-turned-opposition-leader Imran Khan and Canadian-based preacher Tahir-ul-Qadri.

Both Khan and Qadri allege the 2013 elections that brought Sharif to power, were rigged.

Sharif said he respected people's right to rally but said parliamentary representation cannot be determined by street protests.

Tensions rose in parts of Pakistan last week after Qadri supporters clashed with police in the eastern city of Lahore for several days.

Security has been beefed up ahead of the planned August 14 protests, with thousands of additional police forces deployed in several cities.

Based on reporting by, AFP, and dpa