Police said 378 people were arrested in Lahore on Friday as the city braces for the arrival of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz, who are returning to Pakistan to face jail time and file an appeal against the Avenfield corruption reference verdict which sentenced the father-daughter duo to 10 years and seven years in prison respectively.
Even as PML-N workers, responding to their leaders’ calls to show up and demonstrate their support for Nawaz and Maryam, have started assembling near Lahore’s Lohari Gate and Allama Iqbal International Airport, 141 people have been arrested under Section 3 of the Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance 1960, whereas 237 have been arrested under the Elections Act 2017.
No well-known political figure has been arrested. A number of the detainees are reportedly union council chairman, vice chairmen and PML-N councillors.
However, Punjab’s caretaker ministers, accompanied by Home Minister Shaukat Javed, stated that none of the 124 people arrested in Lahore are political leaders or officials.
The Lahore High Court today ordered authorities to release all detained leaders and workers of the PML-N. During the hearing of a petition moved by a lawyer, the provincial police chief told the high court that 141 people had been taken into custody due to threats of terrorism.