Nawaz Sharif, Maryam may be held mid-air; Lahore shuts phone networks

Arturo Kim
July 13, 2018

"We must change the country's future.This opportunity will not come again", he urged and asked his followers to support him at every step.

Erstwhile premier Nawaz Sharif, while en route to Pakistan, gave a video message Friday morning which was released on Twitter by his daughter Maryam Nawaz.

Sharif's son-in-law Capt (retd) Mohammad Safdar, who was awarded one-year jail term, has already been arrested and shifted to Adiala prison. And it could land at some other destination as well if weather in Islamabad was also bad, they said.

Meanwhile in Pakistan, things don't look good for the beleaguered PML-N.

The father-daughter duo, who traveled to London just before Eid ul Fitr to be with ailing Begum Kulsoom Nawaz, are scheduled to arrive in Lahore on Friday at 6:15pm.

Their return could shake up an election race marred by claims Pakistan's powerful military was skewing the contest in favour of ex-cricket hero Imran Khan.

Kulsoom Nawaz, whose health has been described as "highly critical" by doctors, has been undergoing treatment at the Harley Street Clinic in London.

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All arrangements have been made to arrest the three-time Prime Minister and his daughter by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) team.

According to Lahore's City Traffic Officer, the plan will be executed before the rally of the PML-N, while more than 200 wardens will be deputed to maintain the flow of the traffic.

The military, which has ruled the nuclear-armed country for nearly half its history and ended Sharif's second stint in power in 1999 in a bloodless coup, denies involvement.

"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". The army will deploy 350,000 security personnel to polling stations throughout the country on election day.

Further, the PML-N president said the verdict in the Avenfield reference was "unjust". Shahbaz Sharif is expected to lead a rally to Lahore's Allama Iqbal International Airport to receive Nawaz Sharif and his daughter.

"Those who think they can scare your ears and hear this: we are winning this election", Shehbaz Sharif told reporters in Lahore on Thursday. "It is incorrect to say that only certain people are facing accountability".

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