Pakistan: Over 300 party workers arrested in crackdown ahead of Nawaz Sharif’s arrival in Lahore


More than 300 workers and leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) have been detained in Lahore in a massive crackdown before the arrival of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz, Dawn reported Thursday.

The party’s spokesman, Marriyum Aurenzeb, told PTI that police arrested the workers, mostly from Lahore, to prevent them from receiving Sharif at the airport.

Sharif and her daughter Maryam Nawaz were sentenced to prison in a corruption case on July 6 along with Maryam Nawaz’s husband, Captain Safdar. Sharif and her daughter left London early Friday and are expected to arrive in Lahore at 6.15 p.m. M. (6.45 p.m., Local Time of India) on Friday through Abu Dhabi, according to Dawn. The former prime minister and his daughter were in London, where Sharif’s wife, Begum Kulsoom, is being treated for cancer.

“We will not accept the results of the July 25 polls if the manipulation prior to the poll is not stopped,” said party president Shahbaz Sharif. “The Electoral Commission of Pakistan must act and order the release of our detained workers.” Shahbaz Sharif is expected to head a rally at the Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore to welcome Nawaz Sharif and his daughter.

The president of the National Accountability Office, Javed Iqbal, has formed a 16-member team to arrest the two and transfer them to Adiala prison, Rawalpindi, after presenting them in the court of accountability.

According to reports, the Cabinet Division assigned two helicopters, reserved for the prime minister, to NAB to transfer Sharif and his daughter to jail from the airport. They said one helicopter would be at the airport in Lahore, while the other would be in Islamabad, depending on where the father-daughter duo arrives.

Deputy Inspector General of Operations, Shahzad Akbar, said 10,000 police officers will be deployed in Lahore on Friday to “maintain law and order.”

“More than 100 police commandos will be deployed at the airport on Friday to avoid any adverse incident,” said Lahore police officer Sardar Asif.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s media regulator ordered television channels to stop the live broadcast of briefings by political leaders containing “defamatory and derogatory content” for the return of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to the country on Friday, NDTV reported. .

The order is seen as an effort to ensure that Sharif is not able to change public opinion before the July 25 general election. The order says that television channels broadcast live “malicious and indecent content” and only seeks transmission of edited images.

The National Accountability Bureau had presented three cases related to the purchase of four floors in the Avenfield house in London against Sharif and his children. The office recorded the case on the basis of Supreme Court orders in its Panama door verdict of July 28, which eliminated Sharif from the post of prime minister.

The agency had also named Sharif’s sons, Hussain Nawaz and Hassan Nawaz, as defendants in all three cases. Sharif’s family insisted that they had purchased the apartments with “legitimate” financial resources, but they could not disclose those resources either before the court of accountability or before the Supreme Court.