Sharif loyalists arrested as former PM returns to appeal conviction

Clay Curtis
Июля 13, 2018

The crackdown on the PML-N, whose leaders have accused the establishment of attempting to destabilize the party, comes a day before the party founder, ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, is due to return to Pakistan where he faces arrest.

No official reason was given but the party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), says it is an attempt to stifle its ability to launch street protests. "But I want the Pakistani nation to know that I am doing this for you".

Asking the people for their support, he said the destiny of the country can change if the masses stay by his side as such opportunities do not come often.

His remarks came days before the general elections in Pakistan and days after an anti-corruption court in Pakistan held Nawaz Sharif guild in the Avenfield corruption case and sentenced him 10 years in jail.

Sharif and daughter Maryam landed at UAE's Abu Dhabi International Airport on Friday morning.

In separate statements, Nawaz's children Maryam and Hussain said that their mother had opened her eyes for a few seconds exactly one month after losing consciousness and being placed on a ventilator.

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Before leaving for Pakistan from London, Maryam, said: "It is the most hard decision of our lives because my mother is on the ventilator and we don't know what happens next, their is no pain like that of leaving your mother behind in such situation but there's a national duty and we must make this important journey". Still not conscious and on the ventilator.

"Everyone is involved in this blatant rigging from the caretaker Punjab chief minister to the caretaker interior minister and police officials", the PML-N president asserted, as he warned the officials concerned of "fair judgement" if the PML-N is voted to power again.

According to Lahore's City Traffic Officer, the plan will be executed before the rally of the PML-N, while more than 200 wardens will be deputed to maintain the flow of the traffic.

Until Thursday, the interim government had arrested over 300 PML-N workers under the Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance ahead of the former PM's expected arrival. He has urged upon all party workers to join the rally.

On July 6, Nawaz Sharif was sentenced to a total of 11 years in prison and slapped a £8 million fine (Rs1.3 billion) in the Avenfield properties reference while his daughter Maryam was sentenced to eight years with a £2 million fine (Rs335 million).

Sharif has also said the military's intelligence wing, the Inter-Services Intelligence agency, is intimidating his party's candidates to switch loyalties, or to run as independents, ahead of the July 25 poll. "Judge's verdict stated that there was no proof of corruption against Nawaz", he said while adding that he was sentenced based on presumptions.

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