Nawaz, daughter to be arrested at Lahore airport: Ali

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PML-N alleges its activists are being detained

Salim Ahmed

Lahore

Former PM Nawaz Sharif and his daughter, Maryam Nawaz Sharif, will be arrested at the airport, said the interim government on Thursday. They are due to land at Lahore airport this evening.
According to latest reports Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz has left Harley Clinic for airport on Thursday and will be reaching Lahore today, Friday.
The caretaker information minister, Ali Zafar, told media persons 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.”
As the day comes closer, the provincial administration in Punjab has stepped up its crackdown against his party workers.
Police raided various 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 DIG operations said, 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. Many PML-N activists are said to have gone underground. Sources in the party say, up to 15,000 PML-N workers will go to the airport to receive the former PM.
Saad asked the interim Punjab government and the caretaker prime minister to order “immediate release of the arrested workers”.
Former National Assembly speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq has held the interim Punjab chief minister responsible for the surprise detentions of arresting the PML-N workers. “If you have courage, I dare you to arrest me,” Sardar Ayaz said, adding: “We will complete the mission of going to Lahore airport to receive Nawaz.”
“The Ministry of Interior prepared a list and division officers were directed to arrest problematic workers of political parties,” DIG Lahore added.
Containers have been placed at Mall Road in an expected bid to seal major routes leading to the airport in order to thwart political rallies on Friday. The containers have been placed at various places in Lahore.

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