Ahead of Sharifs’ return to Pak, at least 300 PML-N workers, leaders arrested: report
Islamabad, July 13: Pakistan braced for trouble as at least 300 PML-N workers and leaders, including a Union Council chairman, vice chancellor and counsellors were arrested on Wednesday (July 10) night, ahead of the arrival of convicted former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam on Friday, July 13, the country's leading daily Dawn reported.
Police on Thursday, July 11, told DawnNewsTV that they acted after the district commissioner gave them a list of 300 more workers who had to be arrested.
On Friday, a week after the Sharifs were convicted and handed over an imprisonment of 10 and seven years, respectively, in connection to purchasing luxury apartments in London, 10,000 police officers were set to be deployed across Lahore. A top police source informed this, according to Dawn.
Besides the lawkeepers, the Dolphin Squad and the Police Response Unit were also set to be deployed to the sensitive parts of the city while the Anti-Riot Unit was to be put on high alert, the report added.
Also the main thoroughfares of the city were set to be blocked while all roads leading to the airport were to be sealed, Lahore's traffic police authorities said, according to the Dawn report.
Nawaz's brother and PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif was expected to lead a rally to Lahore's Allama Iqbal International Airport to receive the two convicted leaders. Nawaz was disqualified from prime ministership by Pakistan's Supreme Court last July over corruption, and since then, the fortunes of the ruling PML-N have only gone bad.
Pakistan is due to go the national and provincial elections on July 25 and the former ruling party's supporters have seen a huge controversy in ousting Nawaz, Pakistan's tallest leader, at this time.
The lawkeepers have been extra careful after a rally staged by Capt Safdar, Nawaz's son-in-law who also received a year of jail term in connection to the Avenfield case, held a rally in Rawalpindi where he offered his arrest. The authorities had a tough time to take Safdar into custody as the leader took full use of the power that his supporters showcased at the rally.