LAHORE : “By returning Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif has proved that he is on right. Now for his return [from jail], it is your responsibility to vote for Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidates on July 25.”
PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif made these remarks while addressing party workers here on late Friday night. Shehbaz Sharif said despite lockdown and street clashes, PML-N workers have proved that they are still with Nawaz Sharif. Now they have to show similar strength on July 25 on the polling day for the release of Nawaz Sharif, he added.
PML-N president said earlier, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) court has announced its decision, but today people of Pakistan have given their verdict by extending a warm welcome to Nawaz Sharif. Leaving behind his ailing wife in London, he said, Nawaz Sharif has returned Pakistan for better future of Pakistan.
Security beefed up in Lahore ahead of Nawaz’s arrival
He said Lahore has roared against injustice today. People from various cities have reached provincial capital to give warm welcome to Nawaz Sharif amid heavy odds, roadblocks and arrests. He warned the caretaker government that if they failed to hold free and fair elections in the country his party would protest.
Earlier, in a video message, Shehbaz Sharif remarked that today is a historic day that will mark the failure of state aggression and violence. He urged PML-N worker to reach Lahore to give a warm reception to their party’s supreme leader. “I am in the Walled City and I have been informed that people are gathering to go the airport. Come to the airport with me after Friday prayers and play your part for progress and prosperity in the country,” he said.
In morning, Lahore district administration had declared former ruling party’s public rally illegal on the pretext of not obtaining prior permission for the government in a prescribed manner. Lahore Deputy Commissioner (DC), through a letter, warned PML-N president that if any untoward incident is happened due to public rally PM-N leadership will be held responsible for it. He underscored that in the wake of serious security threats to lives of PML-N leadership it is strongly recommended not to hold any public rally or jalsa in the city.
Interim Punjab government has also issued house arrest orders of several senior party leaders, including Shehbaz Sharif, Hamza Shehbaz, Khawaja Saad Rafiq and Khawaja Imran Nazir. However, no PML-N leader could be put under house arrest as most senior party leaders have gone underground in the old city to avoid house arrest. They emerged at Lohari Chowk after Friday prayer when a good number of party workers gathered to participate in the homecoming rally.
Shehbaz Sharif leads the rally from the front with his son Hamza Shehbaz in his vehicle, while other senior party leaders, including Bilal Yasin, Khawaja Saad Rafiq, Maryum Aurangzeb, Talal Chaudhry, Lahore Mayor Col (retd) Mubashir Javed and others, participated in rally on a container.
Shehbaz alleges double standards before Nawaz's return
Speaking to media, Khawaja Saad Rafiq said that the interim government has arrested dozens of PML-N leaders, workers, supporters and leaders in a bid to thwart the PML-N public rally that is being organised to welcome party supremo Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryum Nawaz.
The rally started around 3:30 pm from Lohari Chowk and finished on Allama Iqbal Road after eight hours. Thousands of PML-N workers participated in the rally to welcome party’s supremo.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, PML-N media coordinator Muhammad Mehdi highlighted that over 29 PML-N workers have already been injured in Shahdara area during clashes with city police who was creating hurdles in organizing a peaceful public rally. He pointed out that PML-N senior leader Ameer Muqam and his supporters have been stopped at Ravi bridge. PML-N candidate for provincial assembly from Gujrat has been arrested.
Mehdi said a large number of PML-N workers have shown solidarity with party’s supreme leader by coming out on street. Return of Nawaz Sharif and Maryum Nawaz shows that they are ready to face all circumstances for the sake of democratic and constitutional rule in the country.
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