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13 July 2018, 09:39 | Devin Moran
Imran Khan addresses a public meeting in Bisham on Tuesday. — Dawn
The crackdown on the PML-N, whose leaders have accused the establishment of attempting to destabilize the party, comes a day before the party founder, ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, is due to return to Pakistan where he faces arrest.
More than 100 people were arrested in his stronghold of Lahore where he has called on crowds to meet him when he touches down from London on Friday evening.
His remarks came days before the general elections in Pakistan and days after an anti-corruption court in Pakistan held Nawaz Sharif guild in the Avenfield corruption case and sentenced him 10 years in jail.
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.
"He is convicted, so he has to be arrested first and can not be allowed to roam around in the city", Zafar said.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo and his daughter, who had departed from London late Thursday, are expected to return to Pakistan today (Friday) and begin their jail sentence a week after being convicted in Avenfield properties reference.
Lahore police has also placed containers on the city roads leading to the airport.
"Punjab government has not issued any kind of instructions to police for a crackdown against PML-N activists", he said.
Sharif has also said the military's intelligence wing, the Inter-Services Intelligence agency, is intimidating his party's candidates to switch loyalties, or to run as independents, ahead of the July 25 poll.
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.
Meanwhile in Pakistan, things don't look good for the beleaguered PML-N.
"If he steps out of the house, he will be arrested", said the police.
Khan has painted Sharif as a "criminal" who has looted the state for decades, and welcomes his prison term as overdue accountability. "I am giving this sacrifice for your coming generations.for Pakistan's future", Nawaz added. His brother Shehbaz became PML-N's president, but Sharif remains the power behind the throne.
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