Monday, 19 November, 2018

On way to Lahore, Nawaz Sharif urges Pakistanis to stand by him

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Ellis Copeland | 13 July, 2018, 10:55

Former PM Nawaz Sharif and his daughter, Maryam Nawaz, will return to Pakistan at 6:15pm on Friday.

The father-daughter duo, both sentenced to lengthy jail terms in absentia, are due to return to Pakistan later today in a high-stakes gamble to galvanise their beleaguered party ahead of a July 25 general election.

The caretakers want to suspend the mobile phone service in five areas that include Lahore airport, walled city area, Shahdara, Nawab Town and Burki Hadyara.

While a report quoting unidentified officials said Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Sharif would be arrested in Abu Dhabi, local daily Dawn said they will be arrested on arrival in Lahore. Deputy Inspector General Operations Shahzad Akbar said 10,000 police officers will be deployed across Lahore on Friday to "maintain law and order".

Hussain Nawaz was talking to media about her mother's current condition, he said, "After exactly one month, she [my mother] has opened her eyes".

Former Punjab CM Shehbaz Sharif, who is also Nawaz Sharif's brother and president of PML-N, will lead the rally from Lohari Gate at 3pm.

Former PML-N minister Muhammad Balighur Rehman.

Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz arrived in London prior to Eid-ul-Fitr and are now there due to Kulsoom Nawaz's prolonged illness.

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In a press release issued on Thursday, the bureau stated that "chairman NAB retired Justice Javed Iqbal has said that the accountability court's verdict in the Avenfield properties reference and the arrest warrants issued against Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz will be executed in accordance with law".

Maryam was sentenced to seven years of jail and fined £2 million by the Accountability Court.

"Despite seeing the bars of prison in front of my eyes, I am going to Pakistan", Sharif told Pakistani journalists this week in London, where he vowed to re-assert "civilian supremacy".

A police official who asked not to be identified said more than 100 PML-N workers had been detained.

Sharif was ordered jailed after failing to explain how the family acquired the London flats in a case stemming from 2016 Panama Papers revelations that showed they owned the apartments through off-shore companies.

Dozens of PML-N activists were arrested earlier this week and appeared in court on Wednesday, accused of plotting unrest to coincide with Sharif's return. Many PML-N lawmakers have also defected to Khan's party.

PML-N leaders say authorities have began a crackdown against union council leaders, the street-level party workers who bring out people on the streets. They have announced that they will address a rally in Lahore, after which they will surrender.

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