Pakistan readies for disgraced ex-PM Sharif's return from UK

Imran Khan

Imran Khan

Ahead of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and daughter Maryam's arrest, Nawaz's wife, Kulsoom Nawaz, opened her eyes after a month-long coma.

The caretakers want to suspend the mobile phone service in five areas that include Lahore airport, walled city area, Shahdara, Nawab Town and Burki Hadyara.

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. Deputy Inspector General Operations Shahzad Akbar said 10,000 police officers will be deployed across Lahore on Friday to "maintain law and order".

The news was confirmed by Kulsoom's son, Hussain Nawaz.

The step has been taken to ensure that Nawaz Sharif doesn't turn public opinion in his favour for the upcoming elections.

About the concerns expressed by the PML-N and PPP, Barrister Zafar said everybody had freedom of speech.

Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz arrived in London prior to Eid-ul-Fitr and are now there due to Kulsoom Nawaz's prolonged illness.

"Despite seeing the bars of prison in front of my eyes, I am going to Pakistan", Sharif told Pakistani journalists this week in London, where he vowed to re-assert "civilian supremacy".

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The return comes a week after the accountability court verdict against them sentencing Nawaz 11-year prison, and eight years to Maryam Nawaz in the Avenfield properties case.

Shahbaz Sharif, brother of former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, on Thursday slammed his country's Pakistan over its bad economic performance, adding that India has India surpassed Pakistan in various fields.

In reply to another question about placing the names of Mr Sharif and Ms Maryam on the ECL, he said the decision could only be taken when they arrived in Pakistan.

Recent opinion polls suggest PML-N has lost its lead nationally to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party of arch-rival Khan, whose anti-corruption message has resonated with many Pakistanis.

The Lahore High Court on Friday, July 13, 2018, ordered the release of PML-N workers illegally detained by law enforcement agencies by 2pm today.

The military, which has ruled Pakistan for about half its history since 1947, has denied interfering in modern-day politics.

After the Supreme Court ousted Sharif last July, the courts barred him from heading the PML-N party he founded. Another 100 PML-N workers have been placed under house arrest in Rajanpur. They have announced that they will address a rally in Lahore, after which they will surrender.

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