Nawaz Sharif, daughter to be arrested at airport: interim govt

July 12, 2018

Former PM Nawaz Sharif gestures as he leaves after attending a press conference of his daughter Maryam Nawaz (L) in Islamabad on May 29, 2018. Photo: AFP

Former PM Nawaz Sharif and his daughter, Maryam Nawaz Sharif, will be arrested at the airport, said the interim government on Thrusday.

The caretaker information minister, Ali Zafar, said that the father-daughter duo will not be allowed to step out of the airport. “There is a court order against them,” he said. “It is our duty to arrest those who have been sentenced. We can’t let them roam around in Lahore.”

According to him, the Punjab caretaker government will not allow chaos. “Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz have the right to appeal,” he said. “This is a legal process. It is incorrect to say that only certain people are facing accountability.”

Also read: Protests break out in Lahore as interim govt steps up crackdown against PML-N

Mr Sharif and his daughter are expected to land in Pakistan on Friday. As the day comes closer, the provincial administration in Punjab has stepped up its crackdown against his party workers.

Police raided different parts of Lahore. PML-N leaders say more than 300 workers have been arrested and are being shifted to Kot Lakhpat jail. The chairmen of Lahore’s UC-59, UC-65 and UC-66 were among the arrested. Protests broke out following the arrests in Lahore. PML-N activists gathered outside the Shafiqabad police station, shouted slogans against the administration and burned tyres.

The operations DIG issued a statement. According to him, emergency measures are being taken to ensure peaceful elections. “No political party will be allowed to take the law in its hands,” he said. “Strict action will be taken against all complaints of code of conduct violation.”

Raids and arrests were reported in Kasur, too. Kasur councilor Naeem Bhatti and PML-N’s Kasur youth wing president Asghar Ali are among the dozens arrested from the area. After the arrests, many PML-N activists are said to have gone underground. Sources in the party say, however, that between 10,000 and 15,000 PML-N workers will go to the airport to receive the former PM.