Nawaz, Maryam to make last ditch effort to 'address supporters' before arrest

Source:  Tribune Published in Current Affairs on Tuesday, July 10, 2018

KARACHI: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam have decided to surrender to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) after their potential efforts to establish contact with the masses, sources said on Monday.

The purpose of this contact will be to renew their appeal to the people to “respect the vote, vote for service”.

If the Sharifs don’t find a chance to contact the masses, they will get a video message recorded that will be used by the party during the campaign after the arrests.

The duo’s planned surrender to law, insiders said, is the last election card to be used by Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam. Political analysts say Nawaz and his daughter will try to win the sympathies that can play a role in the success in the elections.

Sources in the federal government said authorities are considering to arrange access of a NAB team to the airplane so that they could arrest Sharifs from within the plane. Sharifs would then be shifted to the jail through a helicopter under strict security arrangements.

According to them, the party’s supporters could create a law and order situation if the duo came out of the airport and the NAB team tried to apprehend them.

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PML-N sources said that Nawaz might request the NAB team to allow him to address the people directly once so he could appeal them to remain peaceful.

The federal government may consider the option of diverting the plane to an airport other than Islamabad’s for them to be shifted to jail peacefully.

The federal government will try to maintain law and order on their return and make special security arrangements at the jail they are kept in. PML-N sources said that Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz want the airport of their return to become the biggest gathering so that they could address the voters before their arrest.

On the other hand, PML-N information Secretary Mushahidullah Khan told Express News the duo has decided to offer arrest to NAB without any resistance. The purpose of a PML-N gathering on their return is to welcome their leader and his daughter and that they will remain peaceful.

Mushahidullah further said that the caretaker federal government and NAB should allow Nawaz to address the people and urge them to disperse peacefully. If force is used against people, he cautioned, the government and the NAB will be responsible for the consequences.

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Written by Amir Khan