PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif addressed a press conference a day before his brother Nawaz Sharif’s return to Pakistan, where he said that Nawaz knows he is going to be taken to jail.
He is coming back for the people of Pakistan, he said. The PML-N will meet him at the airport peacefully, said Shehbaz, adding that he has informed all the senior leaders of this and asked them to spread the word.
We are peaceful citizens of Pakistan and want the best for the nation, he said.
The PML-N head criticised the police action against the PML-N on the night of July 11. During raids across Lahore the police arrested a number of PML-N workers and sent them to jail. The PML-N says 6,000 workers were arrested.
They went into their houses and told their wives, mothers, sisters and daughters to hand over their loved ones, said Shehbaz. “What happened to implementation of the Supreme Court’s order in which it said politicians should not be arrested till July 30?” he asked.
Terming the action “naked pre-poll rigging”, the former chief minister of Punjab said some elements are trying to cast doubts on the election.
“The FIA said it won’t arrest politicians till July 30 but look at what the police is doing on the interim chief minister and home minister’s orders,” he said. Shehbaz lamented that his party was being victimised and said Imran Khan was allowed to hold a rally in Lahore on July 12 but the PML-N was barred from doing the same. He said there should be a level playing field for all candidates.
He told people who want to scare them to try as hard as they can, because the PML-N has the support of the people and will win the elections. He said he had visited people in Lahore, who all support the PML-N.
“We are, by the grace of God, winning this election,” he reiterated.
Addressing those responsible for the late night raids, he said, “We will not punish you unnecessarily after we win on July 26, but we will grt justice for the innocent workers you picked up and locked up”.
He dispelled rumours that Nawaz’s flight had been cancelled and said that he would arrive in Lahore on July 13 with his daughter after bidding his wife farewell.
“His first love is Pakistan. He knows he’s going to go to jail. He is coming to Pakistan for you [the people],” Shehbaz said.