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

Pakistan: Nawaz Sharif will be arrested once he lands in Lahore, warns minister

Such opportunity won't come again.

In the 70 years history of Pakistan, there is not a single example of a family which has been held accountable for three generations like us and despite seeing the prison in front of me I am to fulfil my promise to give respect to vote, he further added.

After almost a month-long stay, the PML-N supreme leader and his daughter began their journey to Pakistan from London's Heathrow Airport late on Thursday. He asked who was behind his expulsion from the Prime Minister House, who had gotten a verdict of their choice against him, who had elected [Sadiq] Sanjrani as Senate chairman and imposed their will on the people of Pakistan in the election. "Those who were behind conspiracies against me and my government will be exposed", he said.

"He is convicted, so he has to be arrested first and can not be allowed to roam around in the city", Zafar said.

Security has been tightened and over 10,000 police officers have been deployed at Lahore airport where Sharif's plane from London is scheduled to land.

Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz, who were convicted by a Pakistani court in the Avenfield Apartments case and sentenced to 10 and 7 years in jail respectively, boarded a foreign flight on Thursday and will arrive in Lahore via Abu Dhabi at 6.15 pm (local time) on Friday.

PML-N leaders say authorities have began a crackdown against union council leaders, the street-level party workers who bring out people on the streets.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has already announced that the father-daughter duo will be arrested as soon as their aircraft lands in Lahore and will be sent to Islamabad on a helicopter.

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Warning the interim Punjab chief minister, Dr Hasan Askari "not to cross the lines", Shehbaz vowed "to go to the airport to welcome our leader, come what may".

"Punjab government has not issued any kind of instructions to police for a crackdown against PML-N activists", he said.

PML-N leaders claimed that around 300 workers were arrested from Rawalpindi on Tuesday, while several hundred others had been picked up from Lahore and other cities.

PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurenzeb said that police have detained over 300 PML-N workers mostly from Lahore to stop them from welcoming Sharif at the airport.

"No logic can defend the 30-day detention of our workers", Shehbaz upheld. "This is my message to them that I am not the one who runs away", he said.

Muhammad Mehdi, the party's media coordinator, told Reuters that almost 500 workers had been detained in a "massive crackdown", including raids on the homes of a number of some of the party's local councillors.

Speaking on the bad state of Pakistan's economy, he said our economy is on the verge of decline, the stock exchange is going down, our reserves can support only one month's import now, our investors went back to London and Dubai wondering what would happen on 25 July in Pakistan.

"The caretaker setup is a salaried puppet", he said. His brother Shehbaz became PML-N's president, but Sharif remains the power behind the throne. He said Nawaz Sharif's opponents suffered from the delusion that he would not return from London after the verdict in the Avenfield reference.

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